By Jason Shetler
On Friday night, MLB.com unveiled their list of the Top 100 prospects for the 2016 season. The Pirates had a total of five prospects make the list with Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon and Reese McGuire.
Glasnow obviously was the highest ranked Pirates prospect, coming in at #10 after just missing the Top 10 last year at #12. MLB Pipeline listed Glasnow as the second best pitching prospect among right-handers.
Meadows made a very nice jump from #46 a year ago to #20 this year. The MLB Pipeline rankings had Meadows the fourth best outfield prospect. MLB.com’s Jim Callis considered him the second best prospect overall during the Arizona Fall League.
Bell just made the Top 50, as he came in at #49. This ranking is a significant drop off from the #34 spot he had last year. The main reason would seem to be making the switch to first base and having struggles defensively. Despite the defense, Bell’s offensive numbers were still good enough to make him the second best prospect at first base according to MLB Pipeline.
Taillon missed the Top 50, ranking #54 on the list, this after being #31 entering 2015. The former first round pick of the Pirates in 2010 has missed the last two seasons with both elbow and hernia surgeries respectively. The injuries have no doubt affected Taillon’s prospect status, but the stuff he possesses, as well as his ceiling, still can’t be overlooked.
McGuire barely made the Top 100, coming in at #98. This was the biggest drop of any Pirates prospect in the rankings, as he was 34 spots lower compared to last year. Although McGuire’s offense needs plenty of work, his strong defensive abilities alone is still deserving to make him a Top 100 prospect. MLB Pipeline ranked him the fourth best prospect among catchers.