Baseball America and FanGraphs made major updates to their farm system and prospect rankings this week. While the former does not think much of the Pirates’ minor-league system, the latter is bullish about some of the franchise’s youngest players.
Baseball America placed the Pirates at 23rd in their farm system rankings, with three players being named in their top 100 prospects. Right-handed pitcher Mitch Keller is the highest ranked prospect, reaching No. 52. Third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes is close behind at number 56, and shortstop Oneil Cruz is directly behind him at number 57.
"The Pirates have a new general manager and a revamped approach," Baseball America writes. "It will be a while before everyone sees what that means for a system that has done a decent job at producing hitters but has struggled mightily to get its top pitchers to go from being prospects to successful big leaguers."
Keller and Hayes were ranked at No. 34 and 36 a year ago.
FanGraphs is more optimistic about the Pirates. While they have not released their full list of the team's best prospects, six Pirates farm hands are on their top 100.
For starters, they have Hayes at 30, Cruz at 32 and Keller at 34. Additionally, 2018 first-round draft pick Travis Swaggerty is placed at 61, right-hander Tahnaj Thomas at 78 and shortstop Liover Peguero at 98.
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