By Rob Schardt
Is it safe to say that the Pirates are beginning their rebuild process now? After 3 years of success from 2013-2015 the Pirates ship may have become ship wrecked once more. This past offseason the team dealt away fan favorite Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants for two minor league players and international pool signing money. The Pirates would also send away ace Gerrit Cole for Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Colin Moran, and Jason Martin.
This past season, rookie first basemen, Josh Bell showed a lot of promise, hitting homeruns to all parts of the ballpark. The Pirates can expect to have all-star Starling Marte back as well, but Marte, did struggle when he returned from his PED’s suspension. Colin Moran projects to be the starting third basemen, who looks to find a home and figure out his new mechanics in his swing. I also expect top prospect, Austin Meadows to make his major league debut sometime this year as well. Meadows is one of the top prospects in baseball and can be possibly be a top outfielder in the game if he projects the way many expect him to. The team also traded for Corey Dickerson a few weeks back who is coming off his best season yet and is expected to start in the outfield this upcoming year. Gregory Polanco also needs to step up as well, Polanco has shown one season of living up to the hype of once being a top prospect, but has shown more struggles.
When it comes to their pitching rotation, a big question marks looms. Jameson Tailion looks to be the ace of the staff with notable guys like Ivan Nova, Chad Kuhl, Trevor Williams and Joe Musgrove behind him. Tyler Glasnow has yet to live up the hype and has struggled tremendously in the major leagues and the Pirates hope that this eventually turns around. Overall I expect the team to sell throughout the year, with players that include, Josh Harrison, Corey Dickerson, David Freese and Fransico Cervelli. I expect the Pirates to finish fourth in their division finishing 75-87.
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