2023 Pittsburgh Pirates Rum Bunter Staff Predictions: Marty Leap
Team MVP - Bryan Reynolds
There is certainly an argument to be made here for Oneil Cruz. to be honest, Cruz might even be the safe pick. That said until Cruz surpasses him, which could happen this season, Bryan Reynolds is still the team's best player. So, give me Reynolds.
Last season, Reynolds hit for a .262/.345/.461 slash line to go with a 126 OPS+. He hit a career high 27 home runs and posted a 2.9 WAR. This was undoubtedly a very strong season. For many hitters it would have been a career year. For Reynolds, it was considered a down season. This just speaks volumes to the player Reynolds is.
Reynolds has developed into one of the best switch-hitters in the National League. He has also become one of the best offensive outfielders in the NL. Hell, he's become one of the best offensive outfielders in all of baseball.
It also would not be a surprised to see Reynolds playing with something to prove this season. After all the contract and trade talk drama this past offseason, Reynolds will likely be looking to prove himself. He could also be playing for more leverage in long-term extension talks.
Look for Reynolds to have another big season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A big season that, in some ways, is also a but of a bounce back season from 2022. Reynolds returns to the All-Star Game while being the team's MVP.