5 more bold predictions for the 2024 Pittsburgh Pirates

Keep an eye out for these five things going right for the Pirates in 2024

Mar 3, 2024; North Port, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Henry Davis (32) celebrates
Mar 3, 2024; North Port, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Henry Davis (32) celebrates / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Pirates set their franchise single-season home run record

The Pirates already set their Spring Training home run record this year. Might as well go for the regular season record, too.

This seems like a pretty lofty expectation, but bear with me. The Bucs have a handful of serious power threats in their lineup - Oneil Cruz and Jack Suwinski have 30+ homer potential, Bryan Reynolds is usually good for 20-25 homers each season, Ke'Bryan Hayes' bat finally broke out in the second half of last season, and 2021 #1 overall pick Henry Davis has quite a bit of thump in his bat.

The Pirates also re-signed Andrew McCutchen, who played well before getting hurt last season and is sitting on 299 career homers. Other additions include Rowdy Tellez, who homered 35 times with the Brewers in 2022, and Michael A. Taylor, who quietly hit a career-high 21 home runs last year.

The current franchise single-season home run record holder is the 1999 club. That team had four 20+ homer bats, headlined by Brian Giles, who hit 39 bombs in his first season in Pittsburgh. Also topping the 20-homer mark were Kevin Young, Al Martin, and one-hit Pirate wonder Ed Sprague.

That team, as a whole, hit 171 home runs. Fangraphs only projects three Pirates (Suwinski, Cruz, Reynolds) to surpass the 20-homer threshold in 2024, But if you add all of their projections (which are generally pretty conservative) for every player on the Pirates' Opening Day roster, you get ... 172 home runs.

That's right. Fangraphs agrees with me on this one. And that's with the team leader (Suwinski) only hitting 25 homers, and that factors in Alika Williams and Jason Delay's projections (one homer apiece) over those for Liover Peguero and the injured Yasmani Grandal.

If in fact the Pirates do get a 30-homer season from Cruz and/or Suwinski, and if Hayes and Davis continue to trend upwards at the plate, they could break the record pretty easily. But for now, I'm setting the bar at 172.