Pittsburgh Pirates show well in MLB Network Top 10 lists

1 of 5

Sep 23, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates players react after defeating the Atlanta Braves to secure a post season spot at Turner Field. The Pirates defeated the Braves 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Network has recently been producing a fantastic series of programs highlighting the best of the best at each position.  “Top 10 Right Now” takes a unique approach to determining the best in the game at their respective positions.  Using a purely statistical analysis tool called “The Shredder,” MLB Network churns out a top 10 while two studio analysts give a human-based take on the list and offer their own modifications.  As of this time, there is no confirmation that this Shredder is obsessed with annihilating mutated amphibious mammals.

In years past, Pittsburgh Pirates fans would cringe at these kind of lists and hope for one or two players to show up.  Those days are long-gone, and the lists are dominated by names such as Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, as expected.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few surprises along the way.  Here now for you are some highlights of these lists.

The Shark Tank makes an appearance

Sep 23, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Tony Watson (44) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Pirates defeated the Braves 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates’ bullpen has been a hot topic lately, after the Pirates acquired another heat-slinging righty, causing many question marks concerning the makeup of the Tank in 2015.  However, a midst all the shifting and shuffling, there are two comforting constants: Mark Melancon and Tony Watson.  From MLB.com:

Melancon and Waston come in at numbers 7 and 10, respectively.  To even casual fans, it’s hard to argue with those rankings.  Melancon’s season was so quiet yet so loud.  Quiet in that there was never any prolonged periods of struggle.  Loud to the tune of striking out 9 batters per 9 innings while only walking 11 batters all year in 72 appearances.  Mark put an emphatic exclamation mark on the Shark Tank rounding into form and once again becoming a great team strength.

Tony Watson tied for the NL lead in appearances by a pitcher with 78. Over 77 total innings, he amassed an sub-2.00 ERA and an astounding 1.02 WHIP.  A dominant left-hander with a good variety of pitches, Watson gives Clint Hurdle an invaluable weapon in the 8th or 9th inning.  Not only can he be used in situation match-up pitching, he has now earned the trust to take the ball and just flat-out get people out.

The next Pirate to show up on a top 10 should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever heard of the game of baseball.

Next: #22 is Number One