Glasnow has room to grow, but time is near

Glasnow has room to grow, but time is near

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A little more than two weeks ago, Tyler Glasnow was called into manager Clint Hurdle's office for "the talk." After a month in big league camp, the Pirates were sending him across town to Minor League camp so he could get ready to begin the regular season with Triple-A Indianapolis.

It might be the last time Glasnow is ever called in for one of those meetings.

Glasnow, the Pirates' top prospect, will begin the season in Indianapolis' rotation. If all goes well, he could end the season in Pittsburgh. Glasnow's unbelievably high ceiling and potential to impact the Bucs as soon as this summer make him MLB.com's Pirates prospect to watch in 2016.

The Pirates considered calling up the 6-foot-8 right-hander in September, hoping he would bolster their pitching staff despite his limited experience above the Double-A level. Instead, they let him continue his development as he finished the year in Triple-A.

There was little doubt throughout the winter that Glasnow would be sent down at some point this spring, as the Pirates all but ruled out the idea of breaking camp with him in their rotation. During his time with the Bucs, he offered the occasional reminder that he still does have room to grow.

Glasnow, McGuire from camp

"You see Tyler, you see the incredible stuff and what he can become," general manager Neal Huntington said shortly after Glasnow was sent down. "But there's also some things for him to work on as well."

Glasnow must become more consistent in his delivery and further refine his fastball command. He needs to be able to throw his curveball for strikes more often. He'll have to make his changeup into more of a weapon to keep Major League hitters off-balance.

But still, there is no denying Glasnow's talent or Minor League track record. The No. 10 overall prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com, Glasnow went 7-5 with a 2.39 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 109 1/3 innings last season. He held opposing hitters to a .195 average and walked a career-best 3.5 batters per nine innings.

While he occasionally scuffled this spring, Glasnow was confident that he'll regain his footing once the season begins.

"It happens usually every year for me. I've just got to kind of get into the feel of things and get out there and just compete more," he said on March 14. "You get into more competition mode and things start to kind of fall into place. I'm just excited to get back."

The Pirates' farm system is loaded with impact talent, particularly in Triple-A. Glasnow, Jameson Taillon and first baseman Josh Bell are only three of the prospects who could contribute this season, and for many more to come.

But few of them are as intriguing as Glasnow, who could go from "the talk" to the talk of the town this season.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.