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2011 MLB Preview: Looking at Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Paper
Posted By Adrian Fedkiw On Mar 29 2011 @ 2:40 pm In Pittsburgh Pirates | No Comments
The Pirates are in the midst of 18 consecutive losing seasons, and that number will most likely hit 19 after this season.
They scored the fewest runs in the NL last season, and also gave up the most. That equaled to a minus-279 run differential.
There are glimmers of hope, and it starts with Andrew McCutchen, the best center fielder in baseball. They also have some other young studs in Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker.
Chris Snyder (30) 319 AB .207 BA 34 R 15 HR 48 RBI 0 SB
The Pirates acquired Snyder before the trade deadline from Arizona. He’s solid defensively, but he’s not going to hit for average.
Lyle Overbay (34) 534 AB .243 BA 75 R 20 HR 67 RBI 1 SB
Overbay’s always been a consistent performer, but he’s seen a dip in his average over recent years. He’s a very selective hitter, and solid defensively although he’s lost range.
Neil Walker (25) 426 AB .296 BA 57 R 12 HR 66 RBI 2 SB
Walker is a switch-hitter who has a nice stroke from both sides and uses the whole field. The converted catcher is still trying to improve defensively. The 2004 first round pick also played third, but Alvarez passed him on the depth chart. He’s a second-baseman to look at for years to come.
Ronny Cedeno (28) 468 AB .256 BA 42 R 8 HR 38 RBI 12 SB
Cedeno is known for his athletic prowess defensively, not so much his bat. In the field, he has great range to go along with a strong arm. He’s fast, but he needs to get on base.
Pedro Alvarez (24) 347 AB .256 BA 42 R 16 HR 64 RBI 0 SB
Jose Tabata (22) 405 AB .299 BA 61 R 4 HR 35 RBI 19 SB
Tabata has a quick stroke, and gets on base. On the basepaths, he can fly. He also utilizes his speed effectively in the field.
Andrew McCutchen (24) 570 AB .286 BA 84 R 16 HR 56 RBI 33 SB
McCutchen is the fastest rising player in baseball; he’s the epitome of a five-tool player. He’s got some nice pop in his bat considering his size. His natural athleticism makes him a huge threat on the basepaths. In the field, he plays shallow and lets his speed do the rest.
Garrett Jones (29) 592 AB .247 BA 64 R 21 HR 86 RBI 7 SB
Paul Maholm (28) 195 IP 9-15 5.10 ERA 1.56 WHIP 102 K
People keep waiting for Maholm to break out, but his numbers have gotten worse each year. He doesn’t throw hard, but he hides the ball effectively. His curveball is ok, but needs to improve his slider and changeup.
Ross Ohlendorf (28) 108 IP1-11 4.07 ERA 1.39 WHIP 79 K
Ohlendorf pitched better than what his record indicates. He struggled with shoulder issues last year. He has a long wind-up, and deceives the hitter by turning his back to the plate. He features a good running fastball to go along with a sweeping slurve.
Kevin Correia (30) 145 IP 10-10 5.40 ERA 1.49 WHIP 115 K
The Pirates signed Correia in the offseason after two years in San Diego. Correia pitched well in 2009, but struggled last year.
James McDonald (26) 71 IP 4-6 4.02 ERA 1.38 WHIP 68 K
In my opinion, McDonald should be the ace of the staff. After coming over from the Dodgers via trade, he posted a 3.52 ERA. He’s tall, lanky and flings his fastball. He also features a tightly spun curveball. He’s still working on his slider and changeup.
Charlie Morton (27) 79 IP 2-12 7.57 ERA 1.73 WHIP 59 K
Chris Resop, Daniel McCutchen, Chris Leroux
The Buckos like to search the waiver wire for some power arms in the pen; that’s how they acquired Resop and Leroux.
Evan Meek (27) 80 IP 5-4 4 SV 2.14 ERA 1.05 WHIP 70 K
Meek throws a hard mid-90’s fastball to go along with a slider-like cutter. The 2010 All-Star is still trying to improve his delivery as he tends to leave his pitches up in the zone.
Joel Hanrahan (29) 69 IP 4-1 6 SV 3.62 ERA 1.21 WHIP 100 K
Sizing up the Pirates
Projected Starting Rotation
Bench- Matt Diaz, Ryan Doumit, Josh Rodriguez, Steve Pearce- 7
Manager- Clint Hurdle- 7
The development of youngsters like Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and the starting pitching staff are more important than the record Pittsburgh is going to post. I think we can all agree that the Buckos are in for another long season.
Prediction—64-98 Sixth NL Central
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