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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Center Field - Jack Suwinski

Jack Suwinski has had his ups and downs this year. But overall, he's been an outstanding hitter. Suwinski's 2023 breakout campaign has been fun to watch, and he's delivered a ton of power, which is something the Pirates desperately needed once Oneil Cruz went down with his ankle injury.

Suwinski has a .235/.365/.522 triple-slash this year. All three numbers are massive improvements from his .202/.298/.411 slash from his rookie campaign. Suwinski has an outstanding 16.0% walk rate, though strikeouts have still been an issue. His 30.7% strikeout rate is pretty much identical to 2022. Overall, he has a .379 wOBA and 138 wRC+.

Suwinski can attribute his success to much better plate discipline and a much higher rate of making quality contact. The left-handed power-hitting outfielder has an 18.1% barrel rate, which is one of the highest in baseball and in the 91st percentile. His 91.9 MPH exit velocity is up 3.6 MPH from last year, and his 50% hard-hit rate is a near 10% increase. However, the biggest improvement is his chase rate going from 24.5% (75th percentile) to just 16% (99th percentile).

Suwinski's outfield defense has graded out around average, with -2 DRS but +1 outs above average. He's seen a couple of outings in both left and right field this year. However, up the middle has been his primary position this year.

Suwinski has been one of the best-hitting center fielders in baseball. Among players who have spent at least 50% of their time in CF, Suwinski ranks top three in multiple offensive statistics, including wOBA (2nd), OPS (2nd), wRC (3rd), isolated slugging (2nd), OPS (3rd), slugging percentage (2nd), and walk rate (1st). Along with solid defensive work in the center, Suwinski is on pace for a near +5 fWAR season.