Pirates' Arizona Fall League overview – MLB.com

As you said, they’ve got plenty of young arms in the Majors and interesting pitching prospects throughout their system: Nick Kingham, Clay Holmes, Mitch Keller, Brandon Waddell, Taylor Hearn, Luis Escobar, Shane Baz and so on. Keller and Baz have frontline potential, and there’s enough quality depth to dream about a fully homegrown rotation.

Six of their top 10 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, are hitters — but they aren’t necessarily middle-of-the-order bats. Shortstop Kevin Newman is more of a contact hitter. Shortstop Cole Tucker, 21, and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, 20, could grow into more power, but they’re not “power bats.” Former first-round pick Will Craig, now a first baseman, has a higher on-base percentage (.386) than slugging percentage (.368) the last two years.

So, no, I don’t think there’s a 40-homer bat hiding in the system — maybe not even a consistent 30-homer guy. Jordan Luplow led the system with 23 homers this year. Only three players hit more than 15. Their top prospect is outfielder Austin Meadows, who still projects to be a difference-maker if/when he’s healthy, but he’s not a pure slugger.

I’ll also say this: Josh Bell never hit more than 14 homers in the Minors, then he hit 26 for the Pirates this season. GM Neal Huntington often stresses their desire to develop well-rounded hitters with power, not one-dimensional power hitters.

Keep an eye on second baseman Kevin Kramer, whose Double-A debut was interrupted by a broken hand. He hit his first Arizona Fall League homer on Tuesday and could develop into a solid offensive second baseman in the mold of Neil Walker.

Shortstop Adrian Valerio showed some pop in Class A West Virginia. Third baseman Oneil Cruz, acquired for Tony Watson, has a massive, 6-foot-6 frame that should produce power. Outfielders Conner

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