As we begin 2017, here is a look at some things that fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates have to look forward to in the new year.
2016 was not the year that the Pittsburgh Pirates had hoped for. The Bucs saw a streak of three consecutive postseason berths come to an end. Additionally, their 2016 season was littered with injuries.
However, as we flip the calendar from 2016 to 2017 things look very bright for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Even though many Pirate ‘fans’ will say otherwise, the Bucs are in good position for a big bounce back season in 2017. And there are a lot of reasons for that.
In 2017 the Pirates will have one of the best lineups in the National League, as well as one of the best benches in the league. Additionally, I fully expect Andrew McCutchen to have a huge bounce back season. I will be surprised if McCutchen is not an All-Star caliber player once again in 2017.
Furthermore, the Pirates should have a very strong bullpen in 2017. Felipe Rivero, Juan Nicasio, and Daniel Hudson are a trio of power arms that can allow the Pirates to play six inning games. And that goes without mentioning pitchers such as Tony Watson and Antonio Bastardo.
After re-signing Ivan Nova last week, the Pirate rotation should also be strong in 2017. A one-two punch of Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon should be one of the best in the National League. Nova is a very good middle of the rotation arm and Chad Kuhl is a strong number five starter. If the Bucs can find one more starting pitcher, they will be in great shape.
In 2017 the Pittsburgh Pirates will also see some elite prospects graduate to the Major Leagues. Outfielder Austin Meadows and starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow are both among the ten best prospects in all of baseball. Glasnow saw time in the Major Leagues last year, and he should see a lot more in 2017, and Meadows should reach the Major Leagues this summer as well. Top-100 prospect Nick Kingham should join the Pirate rotation sooner than later as well.
Happy New Year everyone! As always, thank you for reading and for your awesome support of rum Bunter. Here is to bigger and better things for our beloved Buccos in 2017!