Colin Moran is Proving to have a Clutch Gene

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 29: Colin Moran #19 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI single in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on April 29, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 29: Colin Moran #19 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI single in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on April 29, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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One of the Pittsburgh Pirates newest players is also proving to be one of their most clutch

When the Pittsburgh Pirates traded former ace starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros in January one of the key pieces they got in return was third baseman Colin Moran. After earning a promotion to the Major Leagues each of the past two seasons, the 25-year-old Moran is now in his first full Big League season. So far, the former 6th overall pick in the MLB Draft has not disappointed.

In 122 plate appearances this season Moran owns an impressive .283/.369/.434/.803 slash line to go along with a .347 wOBA and a wRC+ of 121. He has walked in 10.7% of his at bats, struck out in just 16.4% of his at bats, and his .151 ISO is above league average.

Maybe what has been most impressive from Moran is his flair for the dramatic. While some will argue that no such thing as the ‘clutch gene’ exist in sports, I, for one, am not one of those people. And Colin Moran is proving to have said clutch gene.

Wednesday was Moran’s latest clutch performance for the Pirates. With the Bucs trailing 5-4 in the top of the 9th inning, Moran blasted a 2-run home run off of the White Sox best relief pitcher – Nate Jones. This home run propelled the Pirates to a 6-5 victory over the White Sox and a 21-16 record.

Entering play on Wednesday, Moran had been extremely clutch for the Pirates this season. Prior to Wednesday’s heroics Moran owned a .308 ISO, .538 slugging percentage, .351 wOBA, and a 124 wRC+ in situations that FanGraphs describes as being high-leverage.

These numbers only improve for Moran after his game-winning 2-run home run in the top of the 9th inning on Wednesday afternoon in Chicago.

Next: Brandon Waddell Shining at AA

Colin Moran has helped to lengthen the Pirate lineup, while also bringing production that is 19 points higher (121 wRC+ vs 102 wRC+ for Pirate third baseman last year) than what the Pirates got from third base in 2017. He has also brought multiple big hits to the Pirates already while proving to have a clutch gene.

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