A topic of significant concern on this blog over the last year or so is whether or not players like McCutchen, Alvarez, Tabata, and Walker will still be on the roster when some of the highly touted pitching prospects reach the majors in 2013 and onward. The sense I think is that there is a fairly narrow window in which the current group and the prospects in question will all be on the roster, in a best case scenario (assuming everyone develops as we hope). I certainly wouldn't dismiss this concern, I think it's legitimate to be sure. There aren't a ton of potentially high end high end position players in the system at this point and as has been written before small market teams like the Pirates, even when well run tend to have a few years where they're in the best position to contend before they have to some degree or another reload. This may mean taking a small step back or a giant step back, depending on how strong your system is and what kind of players you have in the fold to replace those who leave. However my thought is if the Pirates draft Cole and he headlines a rotation with Taillon and Heredia, etc (which is the hope obviously, of course we don't know with certainty how they'll progress) and the result is something comparable to the 2010 Giants perhaps the Pirates won't need a roster full of well above average position players to be successful. If you use the Giants as your point of reference they managed to win the World Series with Buster Posey and a number of journeyman elsewhere on the field. True they barely managed to gain entry to the playoffs and the offense happened to get hot and perform significantly better than it did in the regular season, obviously not something you could count on. Of course there are also a number of different formulas for success and the Giant's roster with it's disparity between pitching and positional talent is just one of them. Just to be clear I'm simply tossing this out as thought. The timetables of the guys currently in the majors versus those in the low minors may indeed turn out to be a big issue, we'll see. Just simply positing the though, 'what if it's not'.