One question the Pittsburgh Pirates will need to answer this offseason is who will play shortstop for the team in 2021. Who are some potential options to play shortstop for the Bucs in 2021?
The Pittsburgh Pirates will have a lot of questions to answer this offseason. What will they do with their arbitration eligbile players? Which players on the trading block will be moved? Which, if any, free agents will be pursued?
Another question the Pittsburgh Pirates will need to answer pertains to the shortstop position. Who will be the team’s shortstop in 2021? Today, we will examine some potential shortstop options for the Pirates in 2021. We will start with the player who logged more games at shortstop than anyone else for the Pirates in 2020.
During the 2020 season, Erik Gonzalez played in 50 games at shortstop and logged 308.2 innings at the position. Both of these led the 2020 Pittsburgh Pirates.
After starting the season hot at the plate, it appeared Gonzalez might be having a breakout season. Unfortunately, this would not prove to be the case. He struggled down the stretch and finished the abbreviated 60-game season with a .227/.255/.359 slash line and a wRC+ of 62.
In the end, it was a typical well below league average offensive season for Gonzalez. Despite his defensive struggles, he continued to be a plus defender at shortstop. Gonzalez finished the season with a +3 Outs Above Average.
While Gonzalez played more shortstop than any other player for the Pirates in 2020, with his offensive woes he is no way locked in to be the shortstop in 2021. In fact, it would not be a stunner if Gonzalez was non-tendered this offseason.