Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 Key Factors for Rowdy Tellez's Success

Will the first baseman be able to find the form that produced 35 homers in 2022?
Milwaukee Brewers v Minnesota Twins
Milwaukee Brewers v Minnesota Twins / Nick Wosika/GettyImages
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3. Mentality

Losing time to injuries and to fellow first basemen/top prospects Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Keston Hiura, Tellez had little opportunity for consistent playing time in Toronto and Milwaukee. Amid the uncertainty, Tellez has leaned on the wisdom of the ancients. He frequently cites Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as a formative text in his mental development. In 2021, he quipped to The Athletic’s Will Sammon,

"You know, just like it says in the book, we may not be the best at everything. But if we’re polished and we’re able to know that every guy has each other’s back, we’re gonna be strong… Each guy has a role."

Rowdy Tellez

Tellez’s exact role will likely depend on further offseason moves. He tends to mash right-handed pitching, so he could certainly platoon with Connor Joe at first base. He might split some time at DH with his former teammate, Andrew McCutchen (if Pittsburgh re-signs him). Tellez’s productivity, regardless of his role on the club, also depends largely on matters outside of his control: consistent playing time and good health. If these two factors fall into place, the Pirates’ gamble on Tellez could pay substantial dividends.

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