Last night the Pirates selected Nick Gonzales with the seventh pick in the MLB draft. It was a nice reminder that the Buccos now have new leadership. Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly are gone and Ben Cherington and Travis Williams are here to take their places.
I’m excited to watch the Pirates this year. One of the reasons is because of the regime change. The owner sucks, I know that, but at least with a new front office I can look at this as somewhat of a fresh start.
This team actually has some talent, too.
Josh Bell scratched the surface of potential superstardom last year. He hit 37 big flies, and over the course of the first half of the season was as much fun to watch as anyone I’ve ever seen in a Pirates uniform. That’s not hyperbole.
Think about this: Lets say the MLBPA and MLB owners agree on a 70 game season…Josh Bell hit .321 with 19 homers and 27 doubles over the course of the first 70 games in 2019.
They’d have a shot to make the playoffs, maybe even a good shot, if he did that again.
Bryan Reynolds was a 4 WAR player last year with an .880 OPS as a rookie. All this dude does is freaking hit.
Kevin Newman hit .300 last year with an .800 OPS. He’s a solid player.
I want to see slick-fielding Ke'Bryan Hayes play third base. He can’t play in AAA this year. How much run will he get in the show?
El Coffee should be back and healthy for the Bucs. The last time Gregory Polanco was healthy, he had a breakout year with an OPS around .840 and he hit 23 dongs. The Pirates hit for average last year, but the pop was non-existent. Getting Polanco back could help.
Mitch Keller’s last four starts were way better than what he showed before that. Even still, he struck out 65 dudes in 48 innings. I think he can be really good. The stuff can play.
There are also some philosophical questions that will be answered. How is Derek Shelton going to run this club? What’s the pitching approach going to be from Oscar Marin? How much run will younger players get?
There’s going to be more of a chance for the Pirates to make the playoffs this year. Fewer games will make it tough for any group to separate from the pack.
I can't wait to watch the Pirates. I want baseball. Now if only we could get out on the gosh darn field.