Amidst this offseason of relative inactivity for the Pittsburgh Pirates, here’s a reminder of where the Bucs need to keep excelling to keep their so-called “window of contention” open for years to come.
MLB.com’s Jim Callis recently ranked the best hauls from the 2013 first-year player draft, and he listed the Pirates as having the most promising group of new prospects, narrowly edging out the Minnesota Twins.
Pittsburgh’s two first-rounders from this summer, center fielder Austin Meadows and catcher Reese McGuire, boosted the Bucs’ draft class over the top – at least in the eyes of Callis, the former editor of Baseball America. The Georgia-born Meadows hit .316/.424/.554 in his first pro season, while McGuire boasted a .323/.380/.380 triple-slash line in his debut outside Washington state high school baseball.
Both players project to be above-average defenders at the MLB level, which only increases their status among the more elite young talents in the minor leagues. Callis also made mention of top college draftees JaCoby Jones and Adam Frazier, both of whom flashed pro potential at center field and shortstop, respectively. Hard-throwing lefties Blake Taylor and Cody Dickson received plaudits, too.
None of the aforementioned players will help the Pirates in the next couple years, but they are emblematic of what has to be a continuing homegrown approach to success. No matter how much money the Bucs are willing to spend, they won’t be able to stay relevant without a self-renewing spring of capable players.
Three Rivers, One Show
We also added a quick update on Pitt football and men’s hoops, then closed with our Final Thoughts on the Pittsburgh sports scene: