Baseball America has released lists for all the Pirates' leagues except the Class AAA International League, and it hasn't been a great showing for the Pirates, as I point out at Bucs Dugout. Not a shameful one, certainly, but the Pirates are only represented by eight players so far, which isn't good enough given that the Pirates have spent almost four years pouring every possible resource into their minor-league system, including spending tons of money in the draft and trading away many of their players for minor-leaguers. No one from the Pirates' excellent Bradenton Marauders team was included in the Florida State League list.â†µ
True, these lists don't include 2011 top overall pick Gerrit Cole or second-rounder Josh Bell, who both signed too late to play. But the Pirates had three drafts before that to accumulate talent. The Bucs have a bunch of interesting pitchers in Class A who weren't quite good enough to make a top 20 list this year but might at some point in the future, but still, the lack of top players in the farm system is worrisome, or at least it was worrisome before this year's draft.â†µ
I wrote about this topic in August as well.