Francisco Cervelli Should Bat Lead Off For The Pirates
The ultimate goal of a lead off hitter is to get on base, and in 2016 no Pittsburgh Pirates’ hitter has done that better than Francisco Cervelli.
In 2016 the Pittsburgh Pirates have used multiple lead off hitters. John Jaso, Jordy Mercer, Josh Harrison, Adam Frazier, and Gregory Polanco have all led off for the Pirates in 2016. However, none of these men should be their lead off hitter.
The man who should be batting lead off for the Pittsburgh Pirates is catcher Francisco Cervelli. A lot of fans have criticized Francisco Cervelli this season for his play, largely due to the fact he has hit for zero power. However, his defense has remained top notch and he has been an on-base machine.
On the season Francisco Cervelli is slashing .263/.371/.302/.672, to go along with a .309 wOBA and a wRC of 94. While most of these numbers are below average, his on-base percentage is not. And this is why Cervelli should be batting lead off.
Francisco Cervelli’s .371 on-base percentage leads the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016. His 13.7 percent walk rate leads the team as well. So far in 2016, Francisco Cervelli has been the Pirates best on-base player.
When batting lead off your goal is two-fold. First off, you want to force the opposing pitcher to throw a lot of pitches. Secondly, and most important, who want to get on base. Francisco Cervelli has done a great job of both this season.
Francsico Cervelli has done a good job of getting on base against both left-handed and right-handed pitching this season. So far in 2016 Cervelli has a .408 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching, and a .359 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching.
This just goes to show that Francsico Cervelli can hit lead off against both left-handed and right-handed pitching. Which is something no Pirate fan would complain about. Wait a minute, who am I kidding, Pirate fans complain about EVERYTHING.
Like I said above, the ultimate job of a lead off hitter is to get on base. No one on the Pirate roster has done a better job of that this season than Francisco Cervelli. This time has come for Francisco Cervelli to inherit the lead off position in the Pirate lineup.
I realize it will never happen, but moving forward, these need to be the Pirate lineups. Against left-handed pitching it should be Francisco Cervelli, Jordy Mercer, Starling Marte (CF), David Freese (3B), Josh Bell (1B), Josh Harrison, Gregory Polanco (LF), and Sean Rodriguez (RF). Then against right-handed pitching it needs to be Cervelli, Polanco, Marte, Bell, Matt Joyce (RF), Freese, Adam Frazier (2B), and Mercer.
Please, Pirates, make this happen. Please.