Baseball America posted their new farm system rankings, which take into account any changes since they ranked the Pittsburgh Pirates 23rd overall earlier this year. They have the Pirates moving up one spot in the new rankings.
During the preseason rankings, the Pirates had Mitch Keller as their top prospect. Since he has too many innings in the majors now to be considered a prospect, he was no longer eligible for the updated list. So the Pirates moved up a spot without their top prospect. They did that due to the talent they added during the draft. Every other team also added talent, and very few legit prospects have lost their prospect eligibility so far this year, making it somewhat of an accomplishment that they moved up by drafting well.
BA has Nick Gonzales as the new top prospect in the system, which balances out the loss of Keller. The difference-maker is the group of players drafted after Gonzales. The Pirates picked up Carmen Mlodzinski, Jared Jones and Nick Garcia with their next three picks and all were highly rated by BA. It’s far from a nice overall ranking for the system, but it’s trending in the right direction.
Other sources are much higher on the Pirates, including Fangraphs, which really likes the system. My personal opinion is that they are closer to the middle, with a lot of high ceiling prospects who have a lot of risk involved due to their age/experience. There’s a lot of room for improvement in the future, but the current upper level talent right now is average at best.
In other news, Nick Burdi will not have surgery according to the Pirates, but he will be down for some time after the 2020 season ends.
Pirates injury updates:
Nick Burdi will not have to undergo surgery for his forearm muscle. Will undergo an injection and will not throw for 10-12 weeks. Pirates will revisit his injury at that time.
Kyle Crick continues to throw. Will throw to live batters more next week.
— Mike Persak (@MikeDPersak) August 12, 2020
The Pirates also announced that Keone Kela will return tomorrow and Kyle Crick continues to throw. Yesterday the Pirates said that Mitch Keller is still a few days away from throwing due to his oblique injury, so don’t expect him any time too soon.