Baseball America is going through its online top prospects tease. You know, the one where they publish the lists league by league over a number of weeks. I'm a print subscriber, so I could see that there were a bunch of Pirate farmhands showing up, but I had no clear sense of the totals. But here's a listing of the number of unique players (some get nods in multiple leagues, like Gerrit Cole in AA and A+. Note where the Bucs sit. In the top group with 14 players in top prospect lists. Farm system not better? Hah!
When asked Jim Callis said,
I haven't tried to think through updated farm-system rankings—that's a project for the 2013 Prospect Handbook in December—but off the top of my head, the Rangers and Blue Jays would top that list.
So, you could fault the Bucs for not having more high-impact talent, but don't do that until you've read the article about Cole, Taillon, and Jose Fernandez titled, "FSL trio forces tough choices for pro scouts."