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February 5, 2014

Fantasy Team Preview

Pittsburgh Pirates

by Paul Sporer


Projected Lineup

  1. LF Starling Marte
  2. SS Jordy Mercer
  3. CF Andrew McCutchen
  4. 3B Pedro Alvarez
  5. 2B Neil Walker
  6. C Russell Martin
  7. 1B Gaby Sanchez
  8. RF Jose Tabata
  9. Pitcher

The pitching got most of the publicity last year, but while the staff deserved plenty, it’s not like the offense didn’t bring something to the table. They finished 13th in TAv and wRC+. Housing the NL’s MVP certainly helped that, but they also got average-or-plus production at several other spots around the diamond. Additionally, they shored up their biggest holes as the season went on as Mercer began to take time from Clint Barmes and Marlon Byrd was a tremendous acquisition in late-August to cover the right-field deficiency.

Barmes and his hot 58 OPS+ are likely to take an even bigger step back in playing time after Mercer’s impressive 2013 campaign. There is a desire to regress an MVP of his big season, but McCutchen’s 2013 was actually a dip from his 2012, and it wouldn’t be out of the question to see him maintain that production level. Overall, the offense has more than a fair shot to remain at their 2013 level despite some different pieces shuffling in. They aren’t afraid of platoons to get the most out of a position and they have reinforcements on the way.

Projected Bench

There is some upside on this bench, but it’s mostly confined to the ever-disappointing bat of Snider. He’s still just 26 years old, though, so let’s stay excited for ooonnneee more year. Lambo should be used as the long-end platoon man at first base with Sanchez if they aren’t able to find a more stable left-handed option. Lambo smashed righties to tune of a .944 OPS across three levels, including a tiny taste in the majors (although he had just 32 PA against righties in the Show and they weren’t special). Barmes should primarily be a defensive replacement at this point, but his defense has to remain amazing to keep his head just above water in wins above replacement.

Projected Rotation

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Three-Year Pro... (02/05)
<< Previous Column
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