Pittsburgh Pirates: The Best Possible Second Half Line-Up

What would be the best possible line-up the Pirates could put together?
July 4, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jared Triolo (19) and
July 4, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jared Triolo (19) and / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Left Field - Bryan Reynolds

Bryan Reynolds hasn't been up to his lofty standards this year, but that doesn't mean he's been a bad hitter. If anything, he's been just as good as normal, with some bad luck affecting his overall performance. Reynolds could have an explosive second half, especially after coming off his IL stint.

Reynolds is batting .273/.345/.465 on the season. He's posting a healthy 9.6% walk rate as well as a strikeout rate of just 18.5%. Reynolds hasn't hit for as much power as in the past but still has a solid .193 isolated slugging percentage and eight home runs. Overall, he has a .349 wOBA and 118 wRC+, but underlying metrics suggest he's playing down right now.

The switch-hitter has a .381 xwOBA, as well as a .292 expected batting average and .516 expected slugging percentage. Reynolds' 92.1 MPH exit velocity is by far the best of his career and in the 88th percentile. His hard-hit rate of 51.4% is in the 91st percentile and another career best. In terms of barrel rate, 13.3% is also well above any previous single-season high and in the 85th percentile. He's also chasing outside the zone far less often.

Reynolds has mostly manned left field after being the Pirates' primary center fielder for the last two years. His defense on the left looks significantly better, and the numbers support that claim. Reynolds has +4 defensive runs saved, a +4.0 UZR/150, and zero outs above average in left. He's typically graded out much better in the outfield corners and could be a Gold Glove finalist this year.

Reynolds has a great chance to heat up in the second half. He's hitting the ball harder than ever, making more quality contact than ever before, and is sporting well above-average plate discipline numbers. It wouldn't be a shock for Reynolds to return to his 2021 peak down the stretch.