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The Pirates' 2010 Top 10 Prospects According to Baseball America

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.

Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc):


Unknown said...

I like it.

I'm a bit miffed to not see Tim Alderson on this list, mostly because we gave up Freddy Sanchez for him and he was a first round selection, but that's fine because I don't consider him to be better than any of the ten names listed.

Lord I hope d'Arnaud can make it to the bigs. We have no hope at SS in the near future unless we want to re-reacquire Brian Bixler.

Peter Hendrickson said...

In regards to having so many 2010 draftees at the top of the list, you need to bear in mind that three of the Pirates top prospects (Alvarez, Tabata, Walker) were brought up during the season. If all three were still in AAA, I would imagine Alvarez would remain the top prospect with Tabata higher than Allie.

Chip said...

No way would Tabata be ranked higher than Allie. Guys who hit 100 on the gun are much rarer than contact hitters like Tabata. I like Tabata but his lack of power is disappointing. He flashes gap power so I'm hoping as he matures he can get up to the 15-20 HR range but that may be a pipe dream.

Allie and Taillon are the type of premium power arms the Pirates haven't had in, like, forever. If this Heredia hombre pans out, we'll have a killer rotation in 2014.

This is why, even though it sucks, I'm sorta happy they keep losing. A high upside bat like Anthony Rendon would be perfect because Alverez and probably Cutch are out of here in 5 years. We need to start stocking the low minors with high upside bats to go with the great arms we have down there.

JW said...

My God, Chip, do you realize how depressing that sounds?

Nate said...

@Scott: Alderson was a big-time prospect when we traded Sanchez for him, but he's pitched pretty badly as of late and his velocity is way down. He's not looking like the sure-fire Major League starter he once did. I'm honestly not sure he's a top 15 prospect anymore.

@Chip: I think 15-20 HR is very attainable for Tabata. He's got the raw power to do it, he just needs to mature more physically.

As for Cutch and Alvarez, Alvarez is probably gone as soon as he's eligible for free agency (I can't, off the top of my head, think of a single Boras client to sign a contract with their original team that included any of their free agency years), but I'm not so certain on Cutch. I think they can and will get a deal done to keep him around for some free agency years, as he's probably going to be the center of the team.

Unknown said...

We already DID re-acquire Brian Bixler.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

They need a Pedro bat to go with those pitchers if/when they arrive to the majors. They BETTER resign him in arbitration, scott boras be damned! Look again at that top ten list. There's NO ONE in AAA, a few guys in AA, most just signed &/or low in the minors. It's gonna be a while before the next 'wave' of highly touted prospects arrives in the bigs.

Unknown said...

@Matthew J: Hence why I said, "re reacquire."