Pittsburgh Pirates: Very Early 2022 Opening Day Lineup Preview

Cody Flavell
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 20: Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during their game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 20: Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during their game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 23: Michael Chavis #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park on August 23, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 23: Michael Chavis #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park on August 23, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

First Baseman: Colin Moran

Colin Moran has been one of the more consistent parts of the Pirate lineup dating back to late 2019 when he took over as the starting first baseman.

He is nothing flashy at the first base position but makes the plays he needs to. Brought up as a third basemen in the Astros system, Moran began his Pirate career at the hot corner. While he wasn’t a complete disaster, the Pirates wanted to see what he could do at the opposite corner of the infield. Moran made it his home.

Moran has posted a career .269/.329/.420 and has shown some pop in spurts across his four seasons in Pittsburgh.

As consistent as they come Moran should be the Opening Day starter but could move into another role later in the season as prospects begin to arrive.

Second Baseman: Michael Chavis

Second base feels like the most open competition heading into 2022. While I went back and forth with a few names, I’m going to give the nod to Michael Chavis.

The 22-year-old was acquired at the trade deadline for lefty reliever Austin Davis. Chavis came with a lot of promise as a former first rounder of Ben Cherington’s in Boston. However, he struggled to gain traction and become a legitimate MLB player.

Chavis only played six games before getting hurt but posted a .364/.364/.591 and showed versatility playing first base, second base, and outfield across those games.

Chavis began a rehab assignment on September 16 and could return for the final few games to make an impression for next season. Look for Tucupita Marcano to compete for this spot. If the Pirates elect to retain Wilmer Difo, he could also play some games at second base.

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