Pittsburgh Pirates Outfield Offense Will Explode In 2015
Sep 25, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6) hits a two-run double in the seventh inning of their game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Pirates won 10-1. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a major problem at hand. Fortunately, it is one that any of the other MLB teams would love to deal with. The Pirates have at least four staring outfielders coming into the 2015 season and will have the option to trade someone — probably Travis Snider — or keep all four and use a platoon as much as they can.
The Pirates’ offense starts and ends with the National League’s best player Andrew McCutchen. Despite being placed on the disable list during the summer, he still pounded out quality numbers that put him in the discussion for the MVP. There are plenty of reasons to believe that if McCutchen stays healthy, he will be right back in the MVP discussion next season.
Flanked to the right of McCutchen and in left field will be 2014 breakout player Starling Marte. Marte was always believed to have the potential to be superb player and if his 2014 season is any indication of what may come, NL opponents will have a lot to deal with. Marte — according to FanGraphs — posted an astounding 4.1 WAR. Marte showed off that he can be a multi-tool player after he hit .291, clubbed 13 home runs, drove in 56 runs, scored 73 times and swiped 30 bases. Even if his numbers do not improve — and likely they will — Marte will give the Pirates a true force in left.
The right field discussion is not nearly as clear, but is also not a terrible situation. Snider and highly touted prospect Gregory Polanco will likely platoon at the beginning of the season as Snider is still listed as the starter. Polanco did not post great numbers, but he has all the potential in the world. If Polanco starts to display the skills he is predicted to have, Snider — because of the depth in the minors — will be expendable. Snider is a quality bat and could garner a decent player in a trade.
The Pirates have one of the best young outfields in all of baseball and with McCutchen nearing his prime, Marte still climbing towards it and a positive situation in left, the team’s offense could become one of the best in the league.