3 best tools acquired by the Pirates this offseason

Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins
Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins / Brennan Asplen/GettyImages
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Chapman's Velocity

By and large, the Pirates aren’t going to blow batters away. Aside from Jared Jones (and eventually Paul Skenes), the starters tend to rely on break and control, and the bullpen lefties, like Fleming, lean heavily on ground balls. That is, unless you’re Aroldis Chapman. Both Chapman’s fastball and sinker average 98+ mph with spin rates of 2280+.

Chapman’s value increases when considered as a companion piece to David Bednar. The righty-lefty high-velocity tandem could throw opposing managers into fits. Imagine facing crafty starters throwing in the high 80s, like Marco Gonzales, and then having to adjust to either of these flamethrowers.

In 2023, the Pirates were 22-17 in one-run games, in large part thanks to their bullpen.

With several key ‘pen arms on the IL to start 2024, Chapman’s presence has the potential to be a difference-maker in close games.