By Jason Shetler
Baseball America’s Ben Badler released his rankings of the Top 20 prospects in the Florida State League. The Pirates have three prospects on the list with Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez.
Meadows is ranked #3 on the list. The ninth overall choice in the 2013 MLB Draft was the Pirates second best prospect entering this year. Meadows played in 121 games for the Bradenton Marauders where he batted .307, which was third highest in the FSL. He also posted a .764 OPS and had 20 stolen bases.
McGuire just missed the Top 10, coming in at #11. The Pirates other first round selection in 2013 struggled offensively this year, hitting .254 with a .595 OPS in 98 games for the Marauders. Defensively, he threw out 25% of baserunners, which is around league average. While McGuire didn’t do much at the plate, he played this year as a 20-year-old, so he was facing more advanced pitchers who are two or three years older than him. His defense however is still regarded as one of the best in the minors.
Ramirez was right behind McGuire at #12. The 21-year-old outfielder from Colombia began the year in extended Spring Training, and joined the Marauders in late May. He left the Pirates in early July to represent Team Colombia in the Pan-American Games, which lasted two weeks. Ramirez played in only 80 games with Bradenton, but still put up solid numbers, as he hit .337 along with an .857 OPS and stole 22 bases.
It should be noted that former Pirates shortstop prospect JaCoby Jones was on the list at #20. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers a day before the trade deadline in the Joakim Soria deal.