Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_
I just don't know about that. I really thought that last year, their pitching played well above what they should have...but their bats seriously underperformed.
CF McCutchen: I think everybody here would agree that he's their best position player. He's gotten better I think each year. His BA went down quite a bit last year, but his production went up. I don't see him dropping off anytime soon.
2B Walker: He's been pretty steady the past couple of years. He's got some decent power, hits for a solid average.
RF Tabata: The biggest drawback with Jose is his lack of power. He hits for a solid average, has a nice so/bb ratio and he'll get his fair share of extra base hits. I don't think he hurts the club much, but for a RF'er they could certainly use more pop.
LF Presley: Pretty much a Tabata clone at the plate. Decent but they need more OOmph here. McLouth could be a possibility here, but I think they want the 2008 version just like the Reds want the 2008 version of Ludwick.
1B Jones: After his 2009 season, I was pretty high on Garrett. If he can bounce back, he's shown he can hit MLB pitching with authority. IIRC they also still have Derrek Lee. It wouldn't shock me at all to see him have a bounce back year too.
SS Barmes: Clint is a VERY solid shortstop. He's not flashy defensively, but he's rock solid. And with the bat, he's got some pop. You might be surprised to see that he smacked 23 dingers back in '09.
C Barajas: Mediocre is the word that comes to mind. But he does still have some pop in that bat. His problem is managing to put wood on the leather.
3B McGehee: If he can bounce back to his 2009-10 form, they'll be fine here. But what could really help the Pirates is if Alvarez finally shows the promise he had in the minors. He's got the ability, he's just got to put it together in the show. 8th best prospect in the minors in '10.
All things considered, sure, they lack power...but there aren't any really weak spots either. Just about every player (other than McCutchen) had a down year offensively last season. So even some moderate bounce-back could really help them. But the odds of everything going right are so remote, that's why I see them as middle of the pack.
1. Lee is a Free Agent who will probably retire.
2. Pedro Alvarez will be the 3B and their best hope for a middle of the order power threat.
3. McGehee and Garrett Jones will split 1B and could provide some sock in a platoon.
4. McCutchen would be my choice as the ideal player for the Reds to acquire if possible and he's the best they have. He would fit well leading off for most teams, but I'd hit him 3rd in Pittsburgh.
5. At some point Starling Marte may arrive and turn Presley into a 4th OF and that may help as well.
They are a little more promising than in past years, but I can't see them any higher than 4th and they won't be above .500. What they have done is help the rebuild with the moves they have made. Burnett and Bedard should both be decent trade pieces at the deadline and some of the kids might be ready then. If they could get a power option for 1B for say a bedard at the deadlne deal, it would help them a lot. Bedard back to the Red Sox for Lars Anderson might make some sense at some point in July. One of the young pitchers might be pushing for a look in the rotation by then.