Happy Thanksgiving! The Pittsbugh Pirates Have Plenty To Be Thankful For


Sep 20, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison (5) singles against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is no reason to fight it, so here are some things the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans can be thankful before the 2015 MLB season commences.

Andrew McCutchen is an easy choice for the No. 1 spot. He already has an MVP award and could have had another this past season had he not missed some time with an injury. He is one of the game’s best players and he also is one who fans can be proud of off the field.

Gerrit Cole got a full year in last season and he moved from a prospect with great potential to the clear choice as the team’s ace. Cole came into the league as a hard thrower who thought he could just blow away batters to a pitcher who tries to get outs earlier in the pitch count. Cole could be in the hunt for a Cy Young award soon.

Josh Harrison became one of the National League’s most exciting players last season with his sneaky powerful bat (58 extra base hits), his versatility on defense and his knack to come through with late game heroics. He also helped keep the team in the playoff hunt when McCutchen went on the DL.

Mark Melancon also was a nice surprise last season when he took over as the full-time closer after the struggles of Jason Grilli. Melancon recorded 33 saves in 37 chances. He also posted a 1.90 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. Melancon came off a 2013 as one of the best set-up men in baseball and when he was asked to take over the ninth inning role, he did so in stride. Many will argue about closers, but when you have a one who gets the job done, it makes things a lot easier.

The season is still months away but looking at this list should make Pittsburghers thankful they have the Pirates to cheer on while shoveling down delicious food on Thanksgiving.