The Pirates have lost some serious home run power in Pedro Alvarez. Will his home run power be missed? Alvarez had hit 131 home runs in his career as a Pirate, with 27 of them coming last season. Alvarez seemingly has some pretty desired attributes: he’s a former All-Star, he can hit the long ball, and manages to strikeout at a slightly lower rate than the 2015 league leader in that category, the Cubs’ Kris Bryant. Yet, as of today, no club has signed Alvarez for the 2016 campaign. So, just how important is home run power then if Alvarez can’t find a home?
Beyond Alvarez’s lost power – the Pirates have also lost Neil Walker. Walker hit 23 home runs and then 16 in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Which Pirates can we expect home run power from in 2016? Will the club hit fewer than the 140 home runs they hit 2015 – a number that had them 23rd of the 30 MLB teams? Or are home runs largely irrelevant, merely the bread and circus of modern baseball? After all, the Kansas City Royals were 24th on that same list and we know how the year ended for them.