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Six Players Within Pittsburgh Pirates’ System Named to MLB.com Top 100 Prospects

January 24th, 2014 at 5:57 PM
By Allan Smith

MLB.com announced their list of the top 100 prospects in professional baseball, and six Pittsburgh Pirates made the list.

The top prospect in the Pirates' system, Gregory Polanco, checked in at No. 13, and top pitching prospect Jameson Taillon fell a couple of spots behind at No. 16.

Right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow (No. 27), outfielder Austin Meadows (No. 45), shortstop Alen Hanson (No. 67) and outfielder Josh Bell (No. 74) also made the list for the Bucs, who were rated as having the top farm system in the game by Baseball America.

The Pirates had numerous big-name prospects who fell just short of the top 100, such as pitchers Nick Kingham and Luis Heredia and catcher Reese McGuire.

'PNC Park' photo (c) 2011, Chris Connelly - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The list only consisted of prospects who would be considered a rookie if they were to reach the majors this season.

Polanco, a 22-year-old Dominican who elevates the heart-rate of any Pirates fan imagining his presence in Right Field, recently won both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Awards in the Dominican Winter League after hitting .331 with a .428 OBP.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle recently called Polanco "a young Darryl Strawberry." Hurdle, who was once a teammate of Strawberry's, witnessed the same physical tools in Polanco that made Strawberry one of the most feared hitters in the NL during his time with the New York Mets. Polanco will likely start the season with Triple-A Indianapolis and should be ready for big league action shortly thereafter.

Taillon, who draws comparisons to current Pirate Gerrit Cole, is known for a nasty combination of an overpowering fastball and a curveball that is used as his main swing-and-miss pitch. Like Polanco, he will begin the year with Triple-A Indianapolis and should expect to see the majors by the end of the 2014 season.

Glasnow first introduced himself to Pirates nation this year after an incredible season with Class-A West Virginia where he struck out 164 in 111 1/3 innings. He will likely start 2014 with Double-A Altoona

Meadows, the Pirates top draft pick from this past season, managed to hit .316 with a .424 OBP in the time he split between Rookie and A-ball. Look for Meadows to starts 2014 with High-A Bradenton

Hanson actually regressed from his position on last year's prospect list from 54 to 67, but is still expected to be the shortstop of the future for the Bucs. He had a .679 OPS in limited time with Double-A Altoona last season, and he should begin the 2014 season with the Curve.

Lastly, Bell, who was injured throughout the 2012 season, came back with a vengeance in 2013, hitting 37 doubles and 13 home runs while slugging .453. In all likelihood, Bell will start 2014 as a member of Double-A Altoona

Tags: Alen Hanson, Austin Meadows, Baseball, Gregory Polanco, Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell, Luis Heredia, MLB, Nick Kingham, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pirates, Reese McGuire, Tyler Glasnow

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