Pittsburgh Pirates: Opening Day Options to Bat Leadoff

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Ben Gamel #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 25, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Ben Gamel #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 25, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Sep 28, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Hoy Jun Park (68) hits an RBI single against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Hoy Jun Park (68) hits an RBI single against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Other options

Depending on how the Opening Day roster shakes out for the Pittsburgh Pirates there could be some other options as well. Hoy Park, who has a great chance to make the team as an utility player, spent some time batting leadoff for the Pirates in 2021.

Even if Park makes the roster as an utility player he should still have the opportunity to see starting time at second base. Especially early in the season as the Pirates try to figure out who will  man second base on a regular basis, or if they will take a hot hand/by committee approach to the position. If Park is in the Opening Day lineup, he could be an option to bat leadoff.

While it may not necessarily be on Opening Day, infield prospect Diego Castillo could be an early season leadoff option as well. After coming to the Pirates, along with Park, in the Clay Holmes trade last summer, all Castillo did in the minor leagues was hit. He should be in competition for an Opening Day roster spot and should also factor in at second base. If Castillo picks up where he left off at offensively last season then the Pirates could look to stick him at the top of the lineup as a table setter.

One other name worth mentioning is outfield prospect Travis Swaggerty. Like Castillo, Swaggerty should compete for an Opening Day roster spot in spring training.  If not for a shoulder injury the former first-round pick likely would have made his MLB debut last season and may already be cemented in the Pirate lineup.

Opening Day left fielder Travis Swaggerty is something that is likely a real possibility. While, if this happens, Shelton may want to put Swaggerty in lower pressure spot in the lineup to begin his MLB career, he has always had strong on-base skills and numbers in the minor leagues which could make him an option as well.

Next. Best Pirate Offseason Addition. dark

There is a good chance that by the end of the season the leadoff spot will look much different for the Pittsburgh Pirates than it will on Opening Day. But whenever Opening Day does arrive there will be options for the Pirates to bat leadoff, even if none of them are great options.

facebooktwitterreddit