Pittsburgh Pirates: Checking Preseason MLB Power Rankings


The Pittsburgh Pirates farm system was ranked the seventh most talented overall among the 30 Major League teams Tuesday by John Manuel and the staff at Baseball America.

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Here is a breakdown of the rest of the National League Central Division in the B.A. survey.

The Chicago Cubs organization claimed the top spot at No. 1 after having been at No. 4 in 2014. Third base prospect Kris Bryant, shortstop Addison Russell, and catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber are the up and coming stars in the Windy City.

Neal Huntington and the crew of the Jolly Roger were No. 1 in 2014, but came in at No. 7 back in 2013. Right-hander’s Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon along with outfielder Austin Meadows are the stars knocking at the doors of PNC Park. Keep in mind also that rating minor league talent is open to debate. MLB Pipeline earlier in March had the Bucs as the fourth best farm system in baseball while back in February, Baseball Prospectus had the Pirates at No. 8 on their checklist.

St. Louis checked in at No. 16 in the ratings. The Cardinals had been No. 7 in 2014. Left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales and right-handed pitcher Alex Reyes are first and second among the Cards prospects. Outfielder Stephen Piscotty was rated third.

Cincy maintained the status quo as the Reds are No. 17 this year and they were No. 17 in 2014. Two righty’s, Robert Stephenson and Raisel Iglesias are leading the brigade up the ladder to get to the Great American Ball Park. Outfielder Jesse Winker is next on the list.

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  • Milwaukee rounds out the NL Central portion of the poll at No. 19. The Brew Crew was down at No. 29 in 2014. Outfielder Tyrone Taylor and second baseman/shortstop Orlando Arcia are two of the Brewers seeking to play at Miller Park this summer. Another infielder, shortstop Luis Sardinas is in the pipeline.

    There you have it, gang. All five teams in the NL Central are in the Top 20 in terms of farm talent according to Baseball America. It might be interesting to see whose cream will rise to the top this summer.

    Now it is time to check in with the experts on the internet and see where they have the Pirates in their Power Rankings, one week away from Opening Day.

    Bleacher Report‘s Joel Reuter has Pittsburgh at No. 7 in his rating of all 30 teams one week from Opening Day.

    Karl Buscheck at Bleacher Report takes a different look with his power rankings and rates all 30 MLB Starting Rotations. He has the Bucs pitching staff at No. 9.

    Kyle Franzoni here at FanSided has the crew of the Jolly Roger in the No. 2 in his preseason rankings.

    Brendan Kennealy of the Heat Waved blog, also on FanSided, places the Pirates at No. 5 in his early Power Rankings.

    Checking in on the Swingin A’s blog on FanSided, Lance Marlow likes the Bucs at No. 7 and thinks they need to see more from Gregory Polanco.

    Craig Goldstein of FOX Sports is not impressed with the re-signing of A.J. Burnett and has Pittsburgh all the way down in 17th place in his Power Rankings.

    Over at Rant Sports, Jacob Kornhauser places the Bucs at No. 4 and is one of his dark horse candidates for the World Series.

    Up Next: Clint Hurdle’s squad is on the road Wednesday as they play their second-to-last Grapefruit League contest under the lights against Baltimore at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Pittsburgh will send left-hander Francisco Liriano and right-hander Gerrit Cole to the hill and the Orioles will counter with Chris Tillman.

    Next: Reaction Time: Tough decisions a net positive for Pirates