Pittsburgh Pirates Top Five First-Half Statistical Storylines

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Jul 2, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) hits a single in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates went into 2015 with a bevy of run producers, and optimism was high. After a career year from Neil Walker buoyed by breakout years from Josh Harrison and Starling Marte, fans had every reason to feel great about the team’s offense.

As we stand today, the Pirates’ leading run producer by most metrics would be Marte, who leads the team in home runs and, until recently, RBI. While everyone was bullish on Marte before the season, few could have expected him to carry the team through the first two months of the season. Well, Bob Walk expected it. In a piece that ran on these pages way back in early February, we quoted the former Pirate-turned-broadcaster and his bullish prediction for Marte.

"“Marte will hit 20 home runs, steal 50 bases, and be an all star in 2015.” – Bob Walk"

As Marte’s hot start cooled somewhat, Andrew McCutchen got back on track. He is now the team leader in wRC (weighted runs created – a FanGraphs created metric) with a 57 rating. (100 for an entire season is considered “average.”) Still, few could have predicted that Marte would carry the Pirates for a solid two months.

Our next statistical story line is also about a run producer, but deserves its own spotlight

Next: The Curious Case of The Big Bull