Pirate 1997 Scouting Report

Last Updated 12 April 1997

Lots of fans want to know, "How will the Bucs do in 1997?" You can find some early season analysis and predictions on the 1997 Pirate Preview Page.
On Sunday, November 24, 1996, Mark Jareb (mij6t@avery.med.virginia.edu) posted the following to the Pirate e-mail list. I have edited it and included it here with his permission.
Mark enjoys hearing from fans about his Scouting Reports. If you are a Pirate farm hand cruising the web, Mark would be happy to talk with you. Mark Jareb is the author of the comments below. I provide the HTML code, editing, and web space.
Mark Jareb's 1997 Pirate Scouting Report:
In picking the Pirates top 25 prospects, I think it is very difficult to rate batters vs. pitchers. I decided to arbitrarily pick the top 15 batters and the top 10 pitchers in the Pirate minor league organization (that's somewhat like the typical makeup of a 25-man roster). I have excluded any players with MLB experience from the list with the exception of Freddy Garcia and the newly acquired Jose Silva. My criteria for rating players is based on trying to project the value of their MLB career. The links below lead to my detailed comments about each player.

Position Player Prospects:

  1. Chad Hermansen; SS
  2. Arimis Ramirez; 3B
  3. Ron Wright; 1B
  4. TJ Staton; OF
  5. Freddy Garcia; 3B
  6. Jose Guillen; OF
  7. Lou Collier; SS
  8. Garrett Long; 1B
  9. Brandon Cromer; SS
  10. Charles Peterson; OF
  11. Reed Secrist; 3B
  12. Shon Walker; 1B
  13. Alex Hernandez; 1B/OF
  14. Adrian Brown; OF
  15. Lee Evans; C
Pitching Prospects:
  1. Elvin Hernandez; RHP
  2. Kris Benson; RHP
  3. Jimmy Anderson; LHP
  4. Bronson Arroyo; RHP
  5. Jose Silva; RHP
  6. Chris Corn; RHP
  7. Jose Pett; RHP
  8. Carl South; RHP
  9. Andy Prater; RHP
  10. Brian O'Connor; LHP
Mark's 1997 Detailed Scouting Reports for the Top Prospects are on a separate page.
Coming Soon: The expanded 1997 Scouting Report with a detailed look at the Bucco farm system position-by-position.

You can still find Mark's 1996 Scouting Report here too.


Mark Jareb's 1997 Position-by-Position Pirate Scouting Report
This is a position-by-position report on the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. It attempts to project the level that each player will be at in 1997 and identify the extent to which a player is a prospect. In addition, it attempts to identify which positions the Pirates have needs and the various possibilities to address those needs. In evaluating batters, a major criterion will be age, as batters tend to peak at ages 27-28 and then decline. Another heavily discussed criterion will be the ability of the batter to take a walk; drawing walks tends to be a very stable ability (it doesn't vary much from year to year) and usually is the key factor between a poor On Base Percentage (OBP) and a good OBP. I'll harp a lot on OBP because I see that as the Pirates major offensive problem (compared to the league their OBP is relatively worse than their Slugging (SLG)).

Notes: when you see ###/###/### that stands for BA/OBP/SLG (or just OBP/SLG sometimes). The ages listed for players are how old they will be in 1997.

I'll list players currently in the organization based on the highest level they played in 1996.


Mike Emeigh writes a monthly recap on the Bucs for Online Drive. You can see Mike's column starting with the May 1996 edition.

I found another web-based Bucco Scouting report. Sean Forman provides another look at Pirate Prospects.

A Fantasy Baseball site provides a good pre-season wrap-up on the Bucs.


In their late February 1997 issue (on sale through March 2), Baseball America lists the Pirates Top 10 Prospects. They are listed below. Additionally, Baseball America has rated seven Bucco prospects in their Top 100 Prospects List (Benson #8, Hermansen #21, Guillen #24, Ramirez #26, Wright #48, Nunez #69, Anderson #88); this is the MOST prospects listed for any Major League organization. Finally, Baseball America selected the Pirates Farm System as the BEST of all 28 organizations. The future for this ball team is very bright.
Baseball America's Top Ten Pirate Prospects for 1997:
  1. Kris Benson, RHP
  2. Chad Hermansen, ShortStop
  3. Jose Guillen, Outfield
  4. Aramis Ramirez, Third Base
  5. Ron Wright, First Base
  6. Abraham Nunez, Short Stop
  7. Lou Collier, Short Stop
  8. Jimmy Anderson, Left Handed Pitcher
  9. Elvin Hernandez, Right Handed Pitcher
  10. Charles Peterson, Outfield
Glenn's comment: I don't know how they excluded TJ Staton from their list.
While listing the best tools in the Pirates system, Baseball America came up with this list:
Finally, here is Baseball America's prediction for the 2000 Pirate Line Up. There are a few positions where I disagree with them, but they provide a good list to get a discussion going. 1996 Baseball America Prediction
An explanation of Mark's method:
One area where it gets dicey is trying to compare young prospects with little pro experience and high upside to more advanced prospects with lower upside. The more experienced the player, the more data I have to make a prediction, therefore the more confident I am in my projection. Conversely, for some young prospects (who typically have high upsides) I obviously have less data to work with, so I'm not as confident in my projections (i.e. my success rate in projecting prospects at lower levels is less than that of prospects at higher levels). So sometimes I rate someone with lower upside over a higher upside player simply because I'm more confident in the low upside player's projections. Other times, the young prospect's upside is just too great and I've convinced myself that the player's potential will be realized. Your mileage may vary.
Is there something here you like, that needs to be changed,
or would you like to see something that is not included?
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