While the current edition of the Pittsburgh Pirates are competing to end a 19-year losing streak and potentially make the postseason for the first time since 1992, the guys on the farm continue to offer up proof of why the Bucs future is so bright.
The latest release of MLB’s Top 100 Prospects features six Pirates and only the Toronto Blue jays have more representatives (7).
The current Pirates prospects ranked are as follows:
Gerrit Cole (8): Cole has made the quick rise through the Pirates organization from A-ball all the way up to Triple-A. Despite getting hit hard in his last start for Indianapolis, Cole has had an excellent first year of pro ball, combining for a 2.80 ERA in 132 innings pitched. Cole has shown great command of his pitches and should start next season in Triple-A before likely earning a midseason promotion.
Jameson Taillon (16): Taillon had an up-and-down year with Bradenton, but rebounded to earn a promotion to Double-A where he was outstanding, striking out 18 batters and walking only one over 17 innings, allowing opposing hitters just a .183 batting average. Three starts are a small sample size and Taillon will likely start 2013 in AA, but they were certainly encouraging.
Starling Marte (24): Marte is with the Pirates and as shown glimpses of why he is so highly thought of. He will begin next season in a Pirates’ uniform and it will be exciting to see what he is capable of throughout the course of a full season.
Alen Hanson (54): Hanson had a big season at West Virginia, hitting .309 with 16 home runs and 35 stolen bases in 489 at bats . He must improve defensively, but has all of the tools to be the Pirates shortstop of the future.
Luis Heredia (73): The youngster had a tremendous season as he prepares his way up the organizational ladder. Heredia recently just turned 18 and posted a 2.71 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 20 walks with the State College Spikes. His ceiling is probably the highest of any Pirates prospect.
Gregory Polonco (94): Similar to Hanson, Polonco had a breakout season with West Virginia. The young outfielder had a great season, hitting for a .325 average with 16 home runs and 40 stolen bases. Personally I feel this is way too low for Polonco, but the recognition is nice.
Outfielder Josh Bell wasn’t ranked but that’s mostly due to being injured for most of the season.
To view the entire list, click HERE.