These Pittsburgh Pirates Could Hit 20+ Home Runs in 2016

jbdemers
Oct 2, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield (41) greets center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) after McCutchen hit a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield (41) greets center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) after McCutchen hit a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matt Joyce, OF

Jun 17, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels outfielder Matt Joyce against the Arizona Diamondbacks during an interleague game at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 17, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels outfielder Matt Joyce against the Arizona Diamondbacks during an interleague game at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Matt Joyce might be the Pirates fourth outfielder. He might not be. His status will be sorted out in Spring Training. He might not even be on any Pirates roster at all. The Pirates signed him in February. On the plus side of the ledger, he does bring 2,817 MLB plate appearances to the table. That’s some decent experience that other guys competing for the outfield job don’t have.  But what about his home run power?  In 2011 while playing for the Tampa Bay Rays he hit 19 home runs on 522 plate appearances.  If he made the Pirates club for 2016, it seems unlikely he’d get the at bats to hit more than a handful of home runs. Or unless this was a total and complete turn around year for Matt Joyce and some tragic injury befell their outfield depth of McCutchen, Marte and Polanco.

Prediction: 8 home runs for Pittsburgh in 2016 if he makes the team.

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