Top 10 Pittsburgh Pirates Players Of The 2010s: Numbers 1-5

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates high fives with Starling Marte #6 after hitting a three run home run in the sixth inning during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at PNC Park on September 26, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates high fives with Starling Marte #6 after hitting a three run home run in the sixth inning during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at PNC Park on September 26, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 6
Next
PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 20: Mark Melancon #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the ninth inning during the game against the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park on June 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 20: Mark Melancon #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the ninth inning during the game against the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park on June 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

#4 – Relief pitcher Mark Melancon

Another strong trade that was criticized at the time for Huntington occurred in December 2012 when he sent reliever Joel Hanrahan and utility man Brock Holt to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for four players. Of the four players acquired the least heralded was reliever Mark Melancon. Well, Melancon would go on to become one of the best relievers in franchise history.

Melancon Pirates career began in 2013 when he teamed up with Jason Grilli to give the Bucs one of the best 8th/9th inning combos in all of baseball. In 2014, Melancon replaced Grilli as the team’s closer and this was a role he would serve until being traded to the Washington Nationals in July of 2016.

Mark the Shark logged 260.1 innings as a Pirate, posting a 1.80 ERA and a 2.27 FIP. He picked up 130 saves as a Pirate, including a franchise single season record 51 in 2015, and he was a National League All-Star in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

With his nasty cutter and wicked curveball Melancon was a terror for opposing batters during 3 1/2 seasons as a Pirate. Quietly, Melancon was one of the best pitchers in franchise history. He played a major role in the Pirates reaching the postseason in three consecutive seasons, a three season stretch during which he ranked 4th in fWAR (5.8) and FIP (2.20) and 2nd in ERA (1.85) among NL relievers with at least 150 innings pitched.

facebooktwitterreddit