Rum Bunter’s 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates Preview: Marty

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 03: Starling Marte
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 03: Starling Marte /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 02: Jameson Taillon
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 02: Jameson Taillon /

Team Cy Young Winner – Jameson Taillon

A very strong argument cna be made here for Felipe Rivero. However, since starting pitching is the most important part of a baseball team, I will go with Jameson Taillon.

2018 will be Taillon’s third in the Major Leagues and, hopefully, his first full season. In 2016 Taillon start the season at Triple-A, and then in 2017 he missed around a month due to testicular cancer. Taillon is now healthy and appears to be better than ever.

Despite hitting a rough patch in July last season, Taillon still turned in an excellent season. In 133 2/3 innings pitched (25 starts) he owned a 3.48 FIP, 2.9 fWAR, and he averaged 8.42 K/9. Now, Taillon seems primed to take the next step in 2018.

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Just as the Pirates need the absolute best version of Starling Marte in 2018, they need that version of Jameson Taillon as well. Pirate brass has shown a lot of confidence in Taillon and now it is time for him to reward this confidence by becoming the number one starting pitcher he has the stuff and talent to be.

Steamer projections foresee big things for Taillon in 2018, predicting a 3.8 fWAR this season. This would have been good enough for 8th best in the National League in 2017. The Pirates are in dire need of Taillon becoming a top-10 pitcher in the National League this season, and that is something that is very doable.

Look for a big season from Jameson Taillon in 2018 and do not be surprised if he finds his way onto the National League All-Star roster come July.