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Thread: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. #1
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    This is an interesting team in terms of rebuilding. Pittsburgh signed two pitchers out of India last year, potentially opening the door to one of the largest markets and untapped talent pools in the world. They might have one the best defensive outfields in baseball in Jones/McCutchen/Milledge. Jones? Who is Garrett Jones? Yeah, I didn't know who he was either. He was originally signed by the Braves out of HS. He spent 3 years in their system, followed by 7 years in Minnesota's, including a cup of coffee with the Twins in 2007, where he did NOT impress. 2009 saw him playing in 82 games for the Pirates, hitting 21 HR's and an OPS .938. His AAA OPS is .784, but that has gone up every year since 2006. I think he'll have to battle Ryan Church for the RF job in ST, and he has little margin for error, but he could be Pittsburgh's Ryan Ludwick.

    Aside from Iwamura, I think the infield is a wreck. You have a very unproven guy at 1B in Pearce. Good minor league numbers that haven't really translated to the big league level. He seems to be able to take a BB, but the contact rate isn't there yet. He could surprise, and his minor league numbers say we shouldn't be too surprised at 20+ HR's.

    There aren't too many players I'd rather have less than Ronny Cedeno. He's an automatic out. Pirate fans will miss Jack Wilson's defense too.

    Andy Laroche. Gaudy minor league numbers, meh as a major leaguer. If he's going to draw 50 BB's, he better hit .290. And he needs to up that SLG to north of .450 too. He's only 26 though and just completed his first full season.

    The Pirates rotation couldn't strike out Mark Reynolds. Not a bunch of K machines, and without Jack Wilson, I expect bad things from a rotation that relies on defense. Iwamura helps, and admittedly I know little about the defense on the corners, but a lot hinges on Ronny Cedeno.

    This may be the worst bullpen I have ever seen assembled. For their sake, some young pitcher HAS to step up. Just awful. Their closer hasn't closed regularly since what, 2006? Their setup man is 38 years old. and the fall off from there is pretty steep.

    The Pirate organization has a lot of history, and geography makes them good rivals for the Reds. But until they can field a talented team, that can't happen. 90+ losses loom for them in 2010. Again.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: Pittsburgh Pirates

    Great write-up. I can't wait to see the ones you have of teams that can compete.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: Pittsburgh Pirates

    I'm starting slow.

    And these are just my opinions. I got the idea by looking at potential sleepers for fantasy baseball, and Garrett Jones just leaped out at me. I'm also hoping others will chime in with more information. Especially on their minor leaguers that might break through this year.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    I forgot to talk about Andrew Stefan McCutchen. This is who Lastings Milledge was hyped to be. Man is he fun to watch. Dynamic CF, with just a bit of pop. Speed to burn, triples speed. I can see double digit triples in his future. I'd take him over every candidate the Reds have for CF. He's only 23 years old, and I see a very nice year for him, 15-20 HR's, 10+ 3B's 30 2B's 30+ SB's. If he keeps that OPS north of .800, he's going to some All Star Games.

    Potentially one of the best CF's in the NL. I really like him.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    One thing that sticks out about Garrett Jones is that he should strictly be a platoon partner. If the Pirates could team him up with Jonny Gomes, I don't think they'd regret it. It would also give Gomes more opportunity to learn first base and increase his value.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    That's an odd split he has. The power sure seems legit, even against LH pitching. When he does hit it, it stays hit. a .455 SLG isn't bad at all against LH. He destroys RH's. I actually wouldn't platoon him though if I think he's the next Ludwick type of player. Anyone know how good his arm is in RF?
    Suck it up cupcake.

  8. #7
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    The projected opening day roster for the 2010 Bucs. Credit to buccofans.com, specifically Tim Williams.


    My thinking on this is that Crosby wins the starting SS job out of Spring Training. He's not the ROY type anymore, but as TRF noted Ronny Cedeno makes you want to poke your own eyes out rather than watch him field and don't even get started on watching him hit.

    Their rotation screams of early century Reds rotations where we were hoping a few kids and a couple veterans could put it all together. I see a lot of guys who if they could just cut down their BB and or they could just raise their K/9....the likelihood all of them can make the necessary jump has to be at greater odds than winning the Powerball.

    There's nowhere to go for this franchise but up, but unfortunately for them they aren't going to go up even in a division like the central with so much 'parity'.

    Maybe if they are lucky they'll get off to a hot start and be in second place in the middle of May or even early June, but it won't last all year for certain and come October the Pirates will be in the cellar yet again. Here's to hoping though, it'd be great to get the Pirates and Reds back into a healthy rivalry again like meeting in the playoffs back in the day.

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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    Offensively, the Pirates don't have much to look forward to in terms of prospects. Aside from Pedro Alvarez, they're particularly lacking when it comes to power hitters. They've got a couple guys with great plate discipline and/or defense, but they don't really have anyone with the whole package.

    Pitching-wise, most of their best prospects are guys who were obtained from outside the organization when trading away their veterans. They have a nice bunch of pitch-to-contact guys (McCutchen, Alderson, Lincoln, etc.), but their organization doesn't really have many prospects to get very excited about.

    Needless to say, they have a long way before they'll be competitive again.

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    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    Ohlendorf is an interesting story. Graduated from Princeton with a degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering. He used sabermetric analysis in his senior thesis to study the return on investment from the MLB draft.

    He also helps raise Longhorn cattle on his family's farm in Texas. And still finds time to hit high-90s on the radar gun.
    "I can make all the stadiums rock."
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  11. #10
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    The Pirates as an organization are an unmitigated disaster. It truly is a shame, but the have been spinning their wheels over the past decade plus. Trading their vets when they become expensive and haven't cashed in on many prospects. Until something bizarre happens I think the Pirates organization as a whole will be a laughingstock. Its sad but in the Pittsburgh world of sports the Pirates rank 4th after Football, Hockey, and High School Football. I don't see the Pirates getting good anytime soon. At least they have a nice ball park.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    They are starting to make some inroads into the Latin American market. They are pioneers in India. IF they can get a cohesive vision going, and a little luck, they can turn it around. They've been treading water for almost two decades, about two inches below the surface. No fanbase, not even the Cubs, should endure that kind of losing.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    They are starting to make some inroads into the Latin American market. They are pioneers in India. IF they can get a cohesive vision going, and a little luck, they can turn it around. They've been treading water for almost two decades, about two inches below the surface. No fanbase, not even the Cubs, should endure that kind of losing.
    I know they have made some inroads in LA. However the whole India thing seems more like a gag than anything else to me. IIRC the article I read about them signing two Indian prospects is they had never played the game before. It sounds like something that will pay off 20+ years down the road, if it plays out at all. I will look for something out of China to happen first, but that seems to be off a ways as well.

    The Pirates have been drowning ever since Bonds left and the strike of 94. Its sad when you look back at it but pre strike teams like the Reds, Royals, Pirates, and Expos were able to produce good baseball teams, since then, pretty much nothing. At the current the rate the Pirates are going I don't expect them to be in contention any time soon.

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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    TRF, I believe Jeff Clement will be the starting 1B going into camp. Pearce will probably have an outside shot of making the roster.

  15. #14
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    The two kids from India were in a contest to see who could throw a baseball the hardest. It was a reality TV series and they beat out over 30,000 other contestants. In a country of a billion people, a country that loves Cricket, that is huge potential. Both pitchers got their feet wet in the GCL, with Patel having a bit more success. They won't see any MLB time likely for 2-3 years at the most optimistic, but when they do, I bet its an Ichiro like atmosphere in India.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: The Rest of the Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by TOBTTReds View Post
    TRF, I believe Jeff Clement will be the starting 1B going into camp. Pearce will probably have an outside shot of making the roster.
    Was going by ESPN's depth chart. should have known better.
    Suck it up cupcake.


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