Except for the Florida State League, where Mitch Keller, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Cole Tucker were all in the top nine (sub. req’d), the Pirates haven’t been doing too well in Baseball America’s lists of the top 20 prospects in each minor league. In the Gulf Coast League, though, they took three of the top six spots. Center fielder Lolo Sanchez ranked second, right-hander Shane Baz was third and first baseman and outfielder Mason Martin sixth.
Baz was no surprise, as he was a high draft pick and I’d heard that scouts were very impressed with him, even though his numbers weren’t overwhelming. Martin isn’t too surprising, either, even though he was a 17th round draft pick, as he was the GCL’s MVP and dominated the power hitting charts.
I was surprised to see Sanchez that high, but maybe shouldn’t have been. He has legit center field speed and very good strike zone judgment, and he isn’t a slap hitter.
Of course, these guys are a long ways away. A lot can happen on the way to the majors and, from what we’ve seen lately, it’s hard not to think it probably will.