Rum Bunter’s 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates Preview: David

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 27: Colin Moran
ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 27: Colin Moran /

Team Rookie of the Year- Colin Moran

If there was such thing as a safe bet, Colin Moran being the Pirates rookie of the year is it.  There is really no competition for the spot.  Edgar Santana and Dovydas Neverauskas both have rookie status and they’ll break camp with the club, but a relief pitcher being rookie of the year is a tough sell, especially when neither are the clubs closer like Huston Street or Andrew Bailey were for Oakland.

Even if Moran did have competition, it would still be the safe play.  After altering his swing with Astros assistant hitting coach Jeff Albert last offseason, Moran developed some power potential with the Astros Triple-A team.  Hitting, in its nature, sounds simple.  Hit the ball hard, high, and far, but sometimes it takes an adjustment for that to occur.  Moran close up, lowered his hands, and added more loft.  While numbers in the Pacific Coast League are inflated, Moran slugged .543 with this new swing a year after slugging just .368 in the same league.

Given PNC Park’s friendliness to left-handed hitters, the bat should play.  Moran has a patient eye and new-found power, making him a potential middle of the order bat.  The hope is Moran can be that, combined with an average glove, and provide the Pirates with above average production at the hot corner.  If the power translates to the Major League level, that should occur, and it will be the reason Moran is the team’s Rookie of the Year.