Pittsburgh Pirates Mailbag: June 21st, 2019
By Marty Leap
It’s mailbag time once again here at Rum Bunter
Where should Bryan Reynolds and Josh Bell be in the Pittsburgh Pirates batting order? Where does Reynolds season rank all-time among Pirate rookies? And more in this week’s mailbag!
As always, thank you to everyone who submitted questions this week and participated. Now, let’s dive in!
You want to maximize the amount of at bats your best hitters get, this is true. However, I’m always hesitant to put my best hitter lead off because it automatically eliminates the opportunity to drive in a run in their first at bat. In my opinion, you should bat your best hitter second. This is where Josh Bell should be hitting.
As for the three hole, putting your next best hitter here is not a bad idea. As well as Reynolds has hit this season, I’m still not convinced he’s a better hitter than Starling Marte. That’s not a slight on Reynolds, Marte is just really good. Marte also has a long track record of hitting.
Right now, the top four of the Pirate lineup would be as follows if I were the manager:
- Kevin Newman
- Josh Bell
- Starling Marte
- Bryan Reynolds
Regardless, the team has a lot of good options right now. Do not forget Colin Moran, Melky Cabrera, and Corey Dickerson, too. And having options is never a bad thing.
Reynolds is putting together one of the best seasons in the history of Pirate rookies. The only Pirate to ever win National League Rookie of the Year was Jason Bay in 2004. During his ROY campaign Bay slashed .282/.352/.550 with a 130 wRC+ and a 1.8 fWAR. Reynolds is dwarfing these numbers with a .362/.418/.571 slash line, 161 wRC+, and he has already been worth an fWAR of 1.9. He is on pace to be a 4+ WAR player.
Another great Pirate rookie season was Andrew McCutchen in 2009 when he *should* have won NL ROY. Cutch posted a .286/.365/.471 slash line, 122 wRC+, and a 3.4 fWAR. Again, Reynolds has been better.
Also, do not forget that Reynolds started his career with an 11-game hit streak, which tied Gregory Polanco‘s team rookie record.
As Alex Stumpf of Bucs Dugout broke down yesterday, Reynolds is having one of the best rookie seasons in MLB history. It is not a stretch to say Reynolds is having the greatest rookie season in Pirate history.
This may not be a bad idea since the Pirates have been pretty bad at home this season. The team is just 14-19 at home this season. However, the Pirates playing somewhere other than Pittsburgh would be a shame. It’s not like we’re talking about the Tampa Bay Rays here.
As someone who lives in Altoona, seeing the Bucs play 81 games a year at People’s Natural Gas Field is certainly something that would be fun. Obviously, that is not plausible though.
Indianapolis would be a fine option when it comes to cities capable of supporting a MLB franchise. It’s also a city the Pirate organization already has ties with. They also have a Primanti Brothers which is vital.
Another good choice would be Norfolk, Virginia. Home of the Norfolk Tide, the city already has a professional baseball stadium. I’m also a huge fan of that part of Virginia and it just may be my favorite part of the entire country.
That will do it for this week. If you ever have a question for the mailbag, look for our Tweet each week asking for questions. Also, do not be afraid to ever ask a question on Twitter or Facebook.