These Pittsburgh Pirates must play 150 games in 2015

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Here’s what we know.  Josh Harrison will be the everyday third baseman heading into the 2015 season.  And that’s it.  So much has been written about Jhay’s miraculous season and his ascension to becoming one of the Bucs’ stalwarts.  The need for him to truly be an “everyday” player now becomes obvious, but let’s look a bit deeper.  The Buccos’ options for leadoff hitters more or less ends with Harrison.  Starling Marte started the year in the number one slot, but as we’ve said before with Marte, he does not excel there.  While both player’s .OBP is similar in the leadoff spot, Harrison enjoys a jump in .SLG percentage by almost .200 points (.535 vs. 354) over Marte.  This includes a total of 191 total bases against Marte’s 65.  Harrison just puts himself into scoring position sooner than Marte when leading off, plain and simple.  With some sneaky speed that might make him a 20-20 candidate, Harrison has the leadoff spot locked down.  Which is all the more reason that he must remain reliable and durable.  If Jhay plays less than 150 games, it could mean trouble for the Pirates, as the seismic force of his loss would shakeup the lineup more than anyone might like.

Our next essential Pirate might surprise you.

Next: Year two of his reign in RF