Oct. 14, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell plays for the Scottsdale Scorpions during an Arizona Fall League game against the Mesa Solar Sox at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Pirates have one of the best groups of minor league prospects just waiting to be called up and contribute at a major-league level. It just may not be the Pirates they end up of playing.
The Bucs are out to win now and with these younger players also in the future. However, the team will have too many players at certain positions and tough decisions will need to be made. Trading away the talent already up and proven might make the most sense when the time is right to make call-ups, but relying on the unknown could be disastrous. The Pirates already have a strong outfield and with Josh Bell likely to make his debut soon someone will need to go. The Pirates are experimented with Bell at first and if that works out, that will help the situation. Starling Marte proved he can be an everyday contributor last season and obviously Andrew McCutchen is not going anywhere. This leaves Gregory Polanco as a possible odd-man out. Polanco definitely has the tools to be an excellent contributor, but playing the waiting game with him and slowing the process of calling up Bell does not make sense. Bell is a beast of a player and while his expected time of arrival is the 2016 season, his bat could provide the punch the Pirates need next September. The offense could also see Alen Hanson make an appearance. Hanson is not far removed from being “The Next Big Thing” in the organization. He still is ranked high and with Pedro Alvarez‘s struggles at defense, the shortstop could fill in at third base when Josh Harrison needs a day off or is playing the outfield.
The Pirates have so much talent waiting to come up, it seems overwhelming to think where everyone fits in. Harrison is clearly one of the best players on the team and he is not going anywhere. This could mean Alvarez or Hanson is traded away for starting pitching or a catcher.
Obviously it is not a bad thing to have this much talent and if management can put everything together, the Pirates will be a dominant team for many years to come.