2021 Pittsburgh Pirates Rum Bunter Staff Prediction: Noah Wright

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Sep 23, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Richard Rodriguez (48) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Strongest Position: Bullpen

The Pittsburgh Pirates had one of baseball’s best bullpens between 2013 and 2015 and I think this will be their biggest strength by the end of 2021. The Pirates have many different notable relievers coming up through the system.

Nick Mears is ranked as the Pirates’ best relief prospect with David Bednar coming in behind him, the ladder of whom has looked out of this world great in Spring Training. Then there’s flame throwing right-handed reliever Blake Cederlind. Luis Oviedo retains his Rule 5 Draft status after the trade to the Pirates and will look to secure a high leverage role. All four are within the Pirates’ top 35 prospects on FanGraphs.

The Pittsburgh Pirates also have some notable young relievers outside of their top prospect lists. Lefties Blake Weiman and Braeden Ogle could be in the majors before the end of the season. Another young reliever we could see before the end of 2021 is Yerry De Los Santos, one of the Pirates’ top 50 prospects on FanGraphs.

The Pirates have a large option of potential long relief/swingman type pitchers like Cody Ponce, Wil Crowe and JT Brubaker who may see some time out of the bullpen. They have a ton of bounce back or breakout candidates too in Edgar Santana, Clay Holmes, Michael Feliz and Geoff Hartlieb.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a ton of potential coming up through the system for the bullpen and we’ll likely see a good portion of it make an impact in 2021. This, to me, makes it their biggest strength going into the season.