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.