Baseball America has its midseason rankings of the top 50 prospects in baseball and four Pirates -- Gerrit Cole at No. 6, Jameson Taillon at No. 15, Starling Marte at No. 36, and Alen Hanson at No. 40 -- crack the list.â†µ
Of those four, Hanson is the surprising one. He's taken an enormous leap forward after a big breakout this year at Class A West Virginia, in which he's hit .323/.385/.587. For a 19-year-old, that's really something, and scouts seem to be excited about him, too. It's possible he'll finish the year at Bradenton, which for a 19-year-old would be remarkable.
The five players in front of Cole include two -- Dylan Bundy, at No. 1, and Danny Hultzen at No. 5 -- who were drafted after him in 2011. Bundy, who has been the talk of the minor leagues this year, is no surprise, but Hultzen is. He pitched well at Class AA this year and is already at AAA, but he's struggled a bit there, and his stuff isn't nearly as impressive as Cole's.â†µ
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