The 2021 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates and all of MLB is quickly approaching.
This time of year baseball fans across the world are all wondering what is in store for their team. They may be wondering if this year is their year or who will be the biggest breakout star on the team.
Well, things are a little different for fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates. After all, 2021 is appearing to be a second straight season in which the Bucs are one of the worst teams in baseball. However, there is hope with the Bucs, you just have to be a little more patient.
With all that being said, let’s talk about Bleacher Reports latest article discussing Opening Day lineup predictions and what they came up with for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Joel Reuter wrote this piece discussing his predictions for each MLB team’s lineup and there was one surprise with his Pirate prediction that piqued my interest. So, let’s take a look at his projected lineup for the Pirates.
2B- Kevin Newman (hmm, where is Adam Frazier?!)
3B- Ke’Bryan Hayes
CF- Bryan Reynolds
1B- Colin Moran
LF- (Drum Roll) Stephen Piscotty
C- Jacob Stallings
SS- Erik Gonzalez (Eh)
SP- Steven Brault (Also EH)
We will start with the elephant in the room… Stephen Piscotty. Reuter mentioned Frazier generating some buzz in the trade market and ultimately predicted Frazier being traded to the Oakland A’s in exchange for Piscotty and an unnamed prospect.
One can see where he was going with this, but honestly, with the Pirate rebuilidng, odds are they would rather add two or three prospects ranging from the 40-45 value scale from FanGraphs for Frazier. This would be more valuable to the Pittsburgh Pirates right now than a MLB outfielder, especially after the signing of Brian Goodwin.
The next topic to discuss is Gonzalez as the starting shortstop. It can be seen why this would be projected as Gonzalez was the team’s primary shortstop last season, but, good lord, Cole Tucker needs reps at shortstop to see if he can be the man there or not. He needs to be starting at shortstop, not in the outfield. Call me a traditionalist, but I like my shortstops very dependable in the field and can flash the leather, and Tucker offers that more than Gonzalez.
Now to my final point, and that is the starting pitcher. I’m a Brault guy, don’t get me wrong, I think he is capable of more than a lot of people think. Toward the tail end of last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates were a hot team, and Brault pitching well was a big reason why.
However, there is a guy by the name of Mitch Keller who needs to show what he can do now, not later, and what better time than Opening Day. To Reuter’s credit, he did say this “don’t be surprised if Mitch Keller is the ace of the staff by midseason.” I just think Keller needs to be at the forefront now and not midseason. Overall, I get his lineup predictions, but I would just tweak it a smidge overall.