PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Mitch Keller leads a group of four young Pirates players who landed on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects after a midseason re-ranking.Keller, 22, ranks as the No. 14 overall prospect after beginning the season at No. 16. He began the year with Double-A Altoona, where he posted a 9-2
PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Mitch Keller leads a group of four young Pirates players who landed on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects after a midseason re-ranking.
Keller, 22, ranks as the No. 14 overall prospect after beginning the season at No. 16. He began the year with Double-A Altoona, where he posted a 9-2 record with a 2.72 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 14 starts. He was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis in July and has encountered growing pains, allowing 17 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings over his four starts with the club.
Keller remains the No. 1 prospect in the Pirates' organization.
Third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes began the year outside of MLB Pipeline's Top 100, but he has leaped into the No. 55 spot thanks to his progression with Double-A Altoona this season. He also made a jump among the club's top prospects, sitting at No. 2 after being No. 4 in the preseason.
Through 89 games, the 21-year-old has batted .285 with an .813 OPS. He's appeared to take a more patient approach at the plate, as his walk rate is up and his strikeout rate is down compared to years past.
First-round MLB Draft selection Travis Swaggerty, an outfielder out of South Alabama, is ranked No. 87 overall and No. 3 in the Pirates' organization. He's slashed .267/.345/.475 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 26 games with Class A Short Season West Virginia.
Right-hander Shane Baz rounds out the list of Pirates in the Top 100 at No. 97, 30 spots below where he began the season. The 19-year-old has posted a 5.05 ERA in eight starts for Rookie-Level Bristol and ranks No. 4 in the Pirates' system. Meanwhile, shortstop Oneil Cruz made the biggest jump within the club rankings, bumping up from No. 14 to No. 5 after posting an .845 OPS with Class A Short Season West Virginia.
The Pirates recently dealt left-hander Taylor Hearn, who was listed as No. 7 in the Pirates' organization, as well as a pair of former No. 1 club prospects in Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows. Despite the moves, general manager Neal Huntington stated that the organization is confident with the level of depth their farm system provides.
"We've given up players of significance in these trades," Huntington said. "But because of the job our amateur scouting department has done, our player development group has done, our professional scouting department has done through trades, through minor acquisitions, through significant acquisitions, we like the depth of our system."
• Pirates infielder Jungho Kang was originally scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Bradenton on Tuesday, but he was shut down due to recurrent left wrist symptoms. The club has yet to set a timetable for when his assignment will begin.
• Corey Dickerson is eligible to return from the disabled list on Saturday. He tested out his hamstring on Wednesday, and he will be assessed over the next few days to see if he will be able to stay on schedule for a return in the Cardinals series.
• Right-hander Chad Kuhl (right forearm strain) was moved to the 60-day disabled list, providing a more realistic timetable for his return, not because of any form of setback.
• Josh Bell, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on July 28 with a left oblique strain, remains in the early stages of his recovery. According to director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk, he continues to show "encouraging" signs of improvement every day.
• Right-handers Nick Burdi (recovering from Tommy John surgery) and A.J. Schugel (right shoulder discomfort) continue to take steps on their road to recovery. Burdi is continuing his rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona, while Schugel continues to throw simulated games in Bradenton.
Mason Wittner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.