Rum Bunter’s 2019 Pittsburgh Pirates Staff Preview: Nitti

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 3, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 3, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 5
Next
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 08: Jameson Taillon #50 is doused with Powerade and bubble gum by Starling Marte #6 and Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after throwing a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 08: Jameson Taillon #50 is doused with Powerade and bubble gum by Starling Marte #6 and Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after throwing a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Team Cy Young Winner – Jameson Taillon

This was easy. After having somewhat of a sophomore slump following a strong rookie campaign, Jameson Taillon bounced back in 2018 and became the pitcher that many expected him to be, tallying 191 IP and a 3.20 ERA. These figures placed him 11th and 9th in the National League, respectively.

The 6’5 right-hander will be given the tall task of being this year’s staff ace, with Chris Archer and Trevor Williams behind him. Even with an off 2017 that saw Taillon pitch to a 4.44 ERA in 25 starts, his FIP was nearly identical that year (3.48) to what it was this past season (3.46), suggesting that Taillon has always been the pitcher that he was in 2018.

Even though he didn’t have the best Spring Training in terms of ERA (4.85) and hits allowed (17 H in 13 IP), the former first round pick walked zero batters and yielded zero home runs, an encouraging sign after getting taken deep 20 times in 2018.

Taillon has all the tools needed to anchor a MLB starting rotation. In 2019, the Pittsburgh Pirates need him to become that anchor. If he does, that will be a big step toward the Pirates proving doubters wrong this season.