Pittsburgh Pirates: Options for Center Field Moving Forward

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11: Dustin Fowler #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on April 11, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11: Dustin Fowler #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on April 11, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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CLEARWATER, FLORIDA – MARCH 05: Brian Goodwin #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates stands at the plate during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during a spring training game at Phillies Spring Training Ball Park on March 05, 2021 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA – MARCH 05: Brian Goodwin #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates stands at the plate during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during a spring training game at Phillies Spring Training Ball Park on March 05, 2021 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Recall Brian Goodwin From Alternate Training Site

In February the Pittsburgh Pirates signed veteran outfielder Brian Goodwin to a minor league contract. When Goodwin was signed, he appeared to be the frontrunner to be the starter in center field.

Well, Alford had a red hot Spring Training. The Pirates also swung a trade with the Oakland A’s to acquire Fowler. When these two things happened that changed the center field picture and led to Goodwin start the season at the team’s alternate training site.

While Goodwin will be a step down defensively in center field from Alford and Fowler, he could provide a big upgrade offensively. In his five MLB seasons Goodwin has hit for a .250/.317/.455 slash line to go with a .205 ISO and a 101 wRC+ in 1124 plate appearances.

Overall, Goodwin is a slightly above league average hitter (league average wRC+ is 100) in his MLB career. However, he would bring plus power potential to the Pirate lineup. Also, hey, right now league average or slightly above offensively would be a big improvement for the Pirates in center field.

To be honest, odds are probably pretty high that Pirate fans will see Goodwin join the team’s MLB roster soon. If Pirate outfielders continue to be among the worst position groups in baseball, look for Goodwin to join the roster sooner rather than later.

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