Projecting the optimal Pittsburgh Pirates batting order

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The Pittsburgh Pirates’ burgeoning offense is set to break out in a big way in 2015.  From career years from Starling Marte, Neil Walker, and Josh Harrison, to a tantalizing debuts from Gregory Polanco, the Bucs’ offensive attack took great strides in 2014, and left fans wondering what new highs 2015 would offer.  Would Pedro Alvarez acclimate well enough at first to stay in the lineup and approach his 2013 numbers?  Would the loss of Russell Martin and Travis Snider hurt the run-production on the field and off of the bench?

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Most of those questions remain to be seen.  The great thing about the Pirates’ everyday lineup is the flexibility that it can provide Clint Hurdle.  The countless permutations give Hurdle excellent match-up options, as when you have a roster as deep as this one, you can create so many different lineups.  I don’t envy Clint’s job in finding the perfect, everyday batting order with all of these moving parts.  One need only look to a player’s splits to see that where hitters hit in the lineup matters a great deal.  For example:  A player like Starling Marte has all of the tools to bat anywhere in the lineup, but seems to excel when batting second or sixth.  Some batters need the protection of a good batter behind him.  And then a dynamic player like Andrew McCutchen doesn’t need any protection and can be a rock to build an offense around, but one wonders what his numbers would look like if he had better protection behind him.

Today we are asking our writers and our readers what their perfect, optimal, everyday batting order looks like.  You’ll see our takes and then a few of your own.  This is a pitching-agnostic approach, so we will assume these are against RHP.  Let’s get started.

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