Did the Pirates have a good 2010 in terms of talent acquisition? According to Baseball America's new rankings of the team's top 10 prospects, the answer to that question would be a big "YES".
With the recent infusion of young, expensive arms into the organization, BA's Jim Callis recently unveiled his revised Top 10 rankings of the franchise's prospects, and it's heavy on 2010 acquisitions:
1. RHP Jameson Taillon
2. RHP Stetson Allie
3. C Tony Sanchez
4. RHP Luis Heredia
5. OF Starling Marte
6. LHP Jeff Locke
7. OF Andrew Lambo
8. RHP Bryan Morris
9. SS/2B Chase d'Arnaud
10. LHP Rudy Owens
In short, three of the four players just signed by the Pirates (Taillon, Allie, Heredia) have already crept into their top four prospects, where they are joined by 2009 1st-round pick Tony Sanchez. That's either a good thing or a bad thing: good that they had a productive 2010 draft, or bad that they had such a lack of depth that they were supplementing.
Of the top 10, seven would be considered "home-grown", with three imports: Locke (Atlanta via the Nate McLouth trade), Lambo (LA via the Octavio Dotel deal), and Morris (LA via the Jason Bay deal). That's also a step in the right direction for a team which has developed few prospects from within over the past 20 or so years.
I also noticed that six of the top 10 were pitchers, and if this franchise ever wants to return to a contending level, those arms will have a lot to do with it. Historically, the Pirates have lacked that hammer of a starter that typically defines championship-caliber teams, and there's no guarantee that any of these pitchers will turn out to be that guy. But it's the first time in a long time that I can say I believe that things just might turn out differently with this batch of hurlers.
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