The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the middle of a rebuilding campaign, and their 19-41 record from last season is proof. The team is going to focus on trying to bring in more prospects in 2021. The team could also see a high-value player joining the team later this season, as our MLB predictions will show.
What the Offense Features
The team’s offense doesn’t have anyone who could make an impact right now. Top-rated prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes showed flashes of excellence in 2020, as he had a .376 average and five home runs in fewer than a hundred plate appearances. He has the potential to be the team’s third baseman of the future.
The team has a few first-round picks like Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker, and Colin Moran that will see plenty of action this season. Gregory Polanco will also try to rebound from a .153 average last season.
The Pirates did not attempt to bring in anyone from outside of the team this past season. Catcher Luke Maile has also left the team, as he joined the Milwaukee Brewers on the free-agent market.
How the Pitching Looks
The Pirates have a weak pitching staff, but there are two people worth watching this year. Jameson Taillon had his second Tommy John surgery in 2019 and hasn’t pitched since.
TRADE: We have acquired RHP Wil Crowe and RHP Eddy Yean from the Washington Nationals in exchange for 1B Josh Bell.
— Pirates (@Pirates) December 24, 2020
Taillon is expected to be on the team’s starting rotation in April. Pirates fans will be looking forward to seeing what he will do on the mound as he returns. Taillon has been highlighted as a potential strikeout threat.
The other pitcher to watch for is the team’s likely first-overall pick this summer, Kumar Rocker. The Vanderbilt pitcher is heralded as having one of the best sliders in the sport. He has been dominant with the Commodores in the past few years, and there’s a chance he might see some action in Pittsburgh in September.
Outside of Taillon and Rocker, it is hard to find something exciting about the pitching staff. Joe Musgrove and Steven Brault lead the rotation, and Richard Rodriguez will be the team’s closer. Whether the Pirates will have enough wins to give Rodriguez an opportunity for some extra saves this season remains unclear.
Mitch Keller may be a surprise in the rotation. Keller had a 2.91 ERA last season in his five starts, but he has a problem walking too many batters.
Where Will the Pirates Finish?
The Pittsburgh Pirates will finish in last place in the NL Central. Our MLB predictions show that the Pirates will not be very successful in 2021, as they will concentrate more on figuring out how well the team’s young players will look. The rest of the NL Central will dominate, while the Pirates will have a chance of getting at least a hundred losses this season.
Where Will the Pirates End Up in 2021?
The team has a few prospects to explore in 2022 if they get a high-value pick, including Vanderbilt first baseman Spencer Jones and North Carolina high school outfield star Calvert Clark. The team will be looking forward to the future more than they will be trying to compete for something in 2021.
There are still a few months before the next season of the MLB starts! But if you are looking to get your fix of baseball early, make sure you visit our MLB hub page for all the information you need!
Image by: Ian D’Andrea