Pittsburgh Pirates WAR Surprises

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Jul 4, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates outfielders

Starling Marte

(left) and

Andrew McCutchen

(middle) and

Gregory Polanco

(right) wait out a pitching change against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


First, The Pittsburgh Pirates starting outfield of Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco are projecting to have the highest combined WAR of any team in Major League Baseball. As we all expected, McCutchen at 6.2 leads the team and has the third highest WAR trailing only Mike Trout and Buster Posey. Marte is second highest with a 3.7 followed by Polanco with a 3.2. This would equate to a 13.1 WAR for the starting outfield.

Last season, McCutchen finished as a 6.8, Marte was 4.3 and Polanco a 0.3 for a total of 11.4.  When you think of who the Replacement’s could be this season, you think of names like Corey Hart, who has potential to be a starter in right against lefties, Jaff Decker, Andrew Lambo, or even the recently demoted Jose Tabata.

When you think of Tabata, you have to wonder what has happened to him. He broke into the league in 2010 and played in 102 games while posting a promising WAR of 1.7. He rode that WAR and other glimpses of stardom to a contract extension that hangs over the team to this day.  He followed that season up with a 0.5 in 2011, then a -0.5 in 2012, then a surprise season at 1.1 in 2013 before another terrible year at -0.6. He has had many chances and hasn’t capitalized on them. Don’t expect the Pirates to be saddled with his “talents” much longer.

Next, we take a look behind the plate

Next: Debate Behind the Plate