5 PIRATES MAKE TOP-100
2011 first overall pick Gerrit Cole (2012 ranked 10th), cracked the top-10 on Keith Law’s newly released top 100 prospects list for the second year in a row. Cole came in at No. 8 on Law’s 2013 list and is the second rated pitcher on his board, behind Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy who is No. 3 overall and regarded in baseball circles as the best young pitcher in the game.
Law calls Cole a “future No. 1” pitcher but despite Cole hitting 102 mph with his four seamer, Law claims Cole’s biggest issue is fastball command, not just “physically but mentally.” The knock on Cole from Law is that his fastball is way too flat and that’s a key pitch he has to become more effective at. Cole is expected to spend at least the first half of the 2013 season in Triple-A and could emerge as a candidate for big league time this season.
Also making the list was four other Pirates, Jameson Taillon (2012 ranked 16th) at No. 20, rising shortstop prospect Alen Hanson (2012 NR) at No. 34, CF Gregory Polanco (2012 NR) another very intriguing prospect at No. 55, and RHP Luis Heredia (2012 NR) is No. 84.
On Taillon Law writes “Taillon has top-of-the-rotation stuff, not that far behind teammate Gerrit Cole’s arsenal, but doesn’t miss as many bats as you’d expect given what comes out of his arm and may be more of a 1A to Cole’s 1 when it’s all said and done.” Law indicates the Pirates have done a good job of cleaning up Taillon’s delivery and he still might be become the pitcher the Pirates “thought” they were getting when they drafted him second overall.
On Hanson Law notes there is “star potential”. “His bat and speed give him star potential if he does indeed stay at shortstop,” Law writes.
On Polanco, Law believes he has a good chance of evolving into good major league player. “He still has room to fill out physically, and there’s some small chance he develops into a high-impact guy. If it all clicks, he might be a 25-plus homer guy with high batting averages and great center-field defense. He’s good enough that he doesn’t need all of those things to work out for him to become an above-average regular,” Law writes.
On Heredia, Law writes “I don’t see ace potential here, more like a No. 2 or No. 3 starter, someone who’s above-average but not top 10 in the league, even if the curveball becomes an average pitch.”