Who Has Led The Pittsburgh Pirates June Offensive Outburst?


After struggling in April and May, the Pittsburgh Pirates have watched their offense come to life during the month of June

During the months of April and May the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense was, well, offensive. This is a big reason why the team finished with a losing a record in each of these months.

Honestly, the poor offensive results should not have been a huge surprise. Jung Ho Kang has not played this season, stupid government, Starling Marte played 13 games and got suspended, and Andrew McCutchen did not hit at all during the season’s first two months.

However, when the May calendar turned to June the Pittsburgh Pirates offensive seemingly woke up. During June the Pirates have scored 112 runs, which is tied for fifth in the National League. They also rank fifth in the National League with a 103 wRC+ in the month of June, and their 0.5 BB/K ratio ranks fourth in the league.

The leader of the Pirate offense this month has been center fielder Andrew McCutchen. It is not a coincidence that McCutchen’s best offensive month of the season is also the lone month in which the Pirates do not own a losing record.

More from Rum Bunter

McCutchen owns a .462 on-base percentage, .291 ISO, .469 wOBA, and a 196 wRC+ in the month of June. He’s collected 10 extra base hits, six of which have been home runs, and has slugged .671. Furthermore, he has walked more times (13) than he has struck out (12). It is possible that McCutchen ends up being named the National League Player of the Month for June.

Ultimately, the Pittsburgh Pirates still go as Andrew McCutchen goes. If the final three months of his 2017 season are anything like June has been, then Pirates will remain in the National League Central race until the end.

Next to McCutchen, the team’s best hitter in June has been John Jaso. The dreaded one owns a .366 on-base percentage, .595 slugging percentage, .400 wOBA, and a 150 wRC+ this month. Also, his .297 ISO leads the team this month. After a slow start to the season, Jaso has become one of the National League’s most formidable bench bats.

The month of June has also seen Josh Harrison continue his All-Star caliber season. The Pirate second baseman owns a .400 on-base percentage, .383 wOBA, and 139 wRC+ this month. He’s slugged .500, collected 10 extra base hits, and has stolen five bags.

Another great thing to see in June is the way Josh Bell has bounced back from a rough patch at the end of May. During June, the rookie slugger owns a .345 on-base percentage, .368 wOBA, 129 wRC+, and an ISO of .273. The five home runs he has hit this month are second on the team to the six that McCutchen has hit.

The National League adjusted to Bell and started to punch back. However, Bell has counterpunched himself. This is a very good sign for the Pittsburgh Pirates moving forward this season.

Jose Osuna (132 wRC+, .373 wOBA, .250 ISO), Jordy Mercer (129 wRC+, .368 wOBA, .190 ISO), Elias Diaz (110 wRC+, .339 wOBA, .137 ISO) have all had very strong months as well.

Other than Jacob Stallings (85 wRC+), Adam Frazier (80 wRC+), Max Moroff (48 wRC+), Gregory Polanco (30 wRC+), and Chris Stewart (-48 wRC+). Every Pirate hitter currently on the active roster have been an above league average hitter this month except David Freese whose wRC+ of 100 is right at league average.

Additionally, when he’s been healthy and playing, Francisco Cervelli‘s wRC+ in June has been 109 to go along with an on-base percentage of .400.

Next: Bullpen Meltdown Costs Pirates Sweep Of Cardinals

If the Pittsburgh Pirates’ June offensive output is a sign to come for the next three months, then this team will be contending for a division pennant down to the wire this fall. If it reverts back to the offense of April and May, things will be much more difficult. Hopefully, June is a sign of things to come and not an outlier.