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 23: Starling Marte /

Best Position Group

It would be easy to persuade me to say the bullpen, but I’ll go with the outfield.

Starling Marte has been addressed above and not much more needs to be said there. Flanking him will be Corey Dickerson and Gregory Polanco.

Very quietly, Dickerson has been one of the more dangerous power hitters in the game in recent seasons. Since 2014, among players with at least 1,500 plate appearances, Dickerson ranks 19th in the Major Leagues in slugging percentage (.509) and 21st in ISO (.227). Last season Dickerson would have been the team’s best offensive outfielder and this season he may be the team’s worst offensive outfielder.

The big wild card here is Polanco. Last season he was riddled with hamstring injuries and a shoulder issue that led to a miserable season. However, this spring he is healthy and has been arguably the team’s best player in Spring Training. It appears the Pirates are going to get July 2015 – July 2016 Gregory Polanco this season, and if that happens, this outfield will be among the best in baseball.

Throw in the team having good outfield depth with players such as Adam Frazier, Jordan Luplow, and Sean Rodriguez, as well as top prospect Austin Meadows waiting in the wings at Triple-A and outfield should not be an issue for the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates.