4 players the Pittsburgh Pirates should acquire using their pitching talent

The Pittsburgh Pirates should use the vast amount of pitching talent in the organization to pursue these four hitters.
Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels
Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Bryan De La Cruz

The Miami Marlins have already sold off one of their top players, that being infielder Luis Arraez. He was traded to the San Diego Padres earlier this month. With the way the Marlins are playing this year, he'll likely not be the last fish out the door. Another notable Marlins player who might get traded is outfielder/designated hitter Bryan De La Cruz.

De La Cruz posted about league average numbers from 2021-2023 but has looked much better this season. The 27-year-old is batting .269/.315/.469 with a .345 wOBA, and 112 wRC+. De La Cruz has never been one to draw many walks, and his 6.5% BB% falls in line with his career average. So does his 25% strikeout rate. 

But he is hitting for a lot more power. He already has eight home runs in 168 plate appearances. He hit all of 19 last season in 626 trips to the plate. De La Cruz has a .205 isolated slugging percentage. He is posting a career-high launch angle of 12.8 degrees, which has helped lead to another career high in barrel rate at 13% and in the top 87th percentile. 

Barrel rate isn't the only reason De La Cruz might continue to do well or improve. His expected slugging percentage is .542, which clocks into the 96th percentile. His expected batting average is .289, while his xwOBA is .372. These are all above the 85th percentile among all qualified players.

While De La Cruz has a lot of potential with the bat, his defense hasn't been nearly as strong. He has over 550 innings at all three outfield positions throughout his career and has combined for just -6 DRS and -12 OAA. So far this year, the Marlins have split his playing time between designated hitter and left field.

Still, the bat is what you're buying into with Bryan De La Cruz, and it's a good stick. He also doesn't become a free agent until after 2027, so he has over three seasons of control left. De La Cruz is someone who could provide a lot of power for the Pirates, even if his glove isn't great.