Sometimes when you have a large of amount of data to sift through, it’s helpful to put into striated bins to view it. It’s even easier on the eyes if you can color code it. Let’s look at the players on the Pirates’ farm to see how their ages stack up. This is just the Top 4 farm teams or levels: AAA through low A (written as -a for Excel sorting purposes) by age.
For a refresher, July 1st is the cutoff for age: for example if a player turns 23 after July 1st this would be his 22 year old season.
The average age is 23.61 and if you omit the 32 year old Antoan Richardson in AAA the average age becomes 23.5 which I think is pretty good.
A.J. Schugel who just got called up last week is the only 27 year old on the farm (assuming he comes back down) Ed Easley is the only 30 year old.
The oldest player is the aforementioned Richardson and the youngest is Ke’Bryan Hayes at 19.
The ROYGBP color scheme goes youngest to oldest with Reds and Oranges being the 19-23. So, if you’re a reddish player in AAA or AA like Glasnow or Meadows/McGuire your future’s so bright….
Working my way down this chart so you can read along. Let’s talk AAA.
Tyler Glasnow is very young and is one of the youngest in AAA per Baseball America, but he’s only three months younger than Max Moroff.
Jhondaniel Medina, while never on my prospect radar, is crazy young for AAA and this will cause me to pay more attention to him.
I think Stephen Brault and Trevor Williams’ age and non lights out stuff will get them to the bullpen to gain mph and become the next Watson and Hughes (hopefully),
Starter Chad Kuhl is young for AAA and is NOT on the 40 man. He’d be a great trade chip to sell high on come this July or could be a Tony Watson type bullpen stalwart for many years.
Josh Bell is one month from being a 24 year old in AAA. Hopefully he takes advantage of the time Jaso bought him and hits the ball like George Bell in 1989.
Jung Ho Kang is currently hitting like a 29 year old AAAA member but hopefully he starts beating up on the pitchers in the IL. Darn you Chris Coghlan.
Austin Meadows is crazy young for AA and would be knocking on the door at AAA if not for the orbital injury. He’s almost two full years younger than Glasnow.
Catchers develop slower so Reese McGuire has history on his side. His young age at AA is also a benefit.
Jin-De Jhang is two months from being a 22 year old in AA (a very good age for AA). He has a strong arm, walks and hits RHP well. He’s a good bet for a backup catcher adding to the Pirates depth.
Edwin Espinal is the only 22 year old in AA and is being giving the opportunity to break out this year.
Clay Holmes is young at 23 in Altoona but would probably be in AAA if not for the Tommy John surgery.
I’m one of the few remaining Stetson Allie fans, but he was old when he was drafted and is looking ancient in AA. He needs to crush LHP and get to AAA.
On to High A and Bradenton.
“Drive By” Cole Tucker is a choir boy whose body is a blank palette for a fan to dream on. Long levers is the term of choice. If the shortstop position is vacant when he returns this month due to Kevin Newman hitting his way to AA, Tucker might be the youngest player in Bradenton. When you think about it, if Tucker hadn’t been injured he would have been the starting SS in Bradenton at an age TWO years younger than Newman.
Heredia is still a mountain of a being, but barely able to drink legally as a young one in high A. I doubt he ever sees the show, but he’s still young enough to be on the right track.
I didn’t realize that Brandon Waddell was so young. He’s a month away from being a 21 year old in High A and if he keeps up his performance of late he’ll be in AA soon.
Taylor Gushue was very young when he was drafted and was a bit of a wildcard due to the fact that he was a backup behind college superstar Mike Zunino most of his college career. Gushue is hitting well in High A and might force Huntington’s hand if he keeps it up through midseason.
Jordan Luplow reeks of a Cardinal prospect: young enough to be given time to develop, solid hit tool and no perfect position. If he becomes a Tommy Pham or a Steve Piscotty I would not be surprised.
Poor Connor Joe. He is supposedly a tremendous teammate and person who has battled injuries, ineffectiveness and has been usurped by younger prospects. I wouldn’t be surprised for him to wash out soon and join the Pirates’ minor league coaching staff.
Ke’Bryan Hayes is making everyone look old and inept, as he is playing very well at Low A creating a potential infield logjam at High A if he gets promoted.
Cole Tucker would still be young for Low A if he starts there vice High A.
Michael De La Cruz technically isn’t in Low A yet but will be if/when Tito Polo get bumped up to Bradenton.
Mitch Keller has been dominant in his first few starts but is still on the right side of 21. If keeps this up he could see High A by midseason and force the Bucs to make a hard decision (High A or AA) for next year’s opening day.
Realistically, the group from Tito Polo down through Logan Sendelbach are the same age. Polo is the most recognized name but he’s NOT really been recognized as much a prospect and needs a big breakout this year if he wants to surpass some of the OF prospects. The most revered of all this fivesome is Carlos Munoz. He’s a Mexican product, which leaves a bit of variance and he hits everywhere he goes, causing him to show up on the Baseball America Top 20 for the Appy League in 2015. Hopefully he becomes our Matt Adams.
Mitchell Tolman is as good of a defensive 3B as I’ve watched live. He’s got great instincts and has a cannon for an arm. He could be a homegrown Brent Morel here in a couple years which is not a terrible thing for you chucklers.