In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had the pleasure of captivating our morning audience with information on the latest Pirates news in our daily wake up call.

A lot has happened over the last few months and a majority of the news surrounding the club hasn’t been the most positive. From the inevitable deals that sent Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco and Gerrit Cole to Houston, to the lackluster returns for the two franchise players, fans haven’t had much to smile about.

Not to mention the reported concerns by the Major League Baseball Players Association regarding payroll cuts by the Pirates and the Miami Marlins, and the fact that the Milwaukee Brewers, one of the Pirates’ top inner division rivals, got a lot better with the acquisition of Christian Yelich and the signing of Lorenzo Cain last week.

It’s no surprise that fans are threatening to boycott and that fans are even getting to the point where they are circulating a petition to force Bob Nutting to sell the team.

But even on the darkest days, there is a little bit of light.

That small glimpse of light comes in the form of some of the Pirates’ top prospects, three of whom remain on MLBPipeline’s list of top 100 prospects. The 2018 list was released Saturday.

After making appearances on last year’s list, pitchers Mitch Keller (No. 16) and Shane Baz (No. 67) along with outfielder Austin Meadows (No. 45) are included on this year’s. Both Keller and Baz jumped spots in the rankings, while Meadows took a drastic plunge on the list following a 2017 season that saw him battle injuries and hit just .261 in 81 games between three different minor league teams.

While this type of “good news” might not mean much to fans, there is no denying the type of talent the Pirates trio has. And two of three may not be far away. Baz, a 2017 first-round pick, may be ways away from making his major league debut, but Keller and Meadows could have impacts in the majors this season if healthy.

Meadows may be needed sooner rather than later with the departure of McCutchen and Keller, a talented righty, could be a candidate to join the rotation later in the season.

The tunnel, so to speak, has been a dark one this offseason for the Pirates. However, while the current state of the Pirates is in utter chaos, the future stars the Pirates still have as the cream of the crop in their system are reasons to show at least a little bit of positivity.

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Jose Negron

Jose Negron is a 22 year old journalist from the North Huntingdon area. A recent graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, Jose has written for Rumbunter and Pirates Breakdown for the past year. He is the former Editor in Chief and Sports Editor of Cal U's campus newspaper, the Cal Times. He also covers high school sports for the Mon Valley Independent and serves as a contributor for Pittsburgh Sporting News, covering the Pirates. During the summer of 2015, he also interned with TribLive Radio, writing for their online blog, helping in the production of various radio shows and even appearing on the air.