Well it's been tough for the Pirates in the last 17 years. They just keep trading away their good players for prospects who will most likely fail to deliver much to the team. Although, I think this year could be a progressive year if they keep their players.
Here is a look at their projected starting lineup:
1. Andrew McCutchen, CF
McCutchen showed some great talent last year. He has lightning speed and is in the right spot at leadoff, as he will score runs and steal many bases.
Last year, he had 12 HRs, a .286 avg with 54 RBI and 74 runs scored. He also racked up 22 stolen bases, 124 hits, 26 doubles, and 9 triples. Those are some impressive numbers at his age.
He will probably be the top player on the Pirates this year, either him or Doumit. Hopefully the Pirates keep him for the whole year and years to come.
2. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
Iwamura is a new addition to the Pirates from Tampa Bay, and it will be interesting to see how he performs. His stats may seem low on the Rays, but that's only because he didn't play much—only 69 games last year—so take that into consideration with these stats.
He hit one HR with a .290 batting avg., 22 RBI, and 28 runs scored. He also had nine stolen bases and 67 hits with 16 doubles and two triples. I think the Rays may have held him back by not playing him much, watch for him to do some pretty good things with the Bucos.
3. Garret Jones, 1B
Jones did quite well, hitting 21 HRs in just 82 games played, that's very impressive, you can look for him to hit quite a few homers this season.
He also had a .293 avg. with 44 RBI and 45 runs scored. Not to mention 92 hits with 21 doubles and a triple. He also stole 10 bases and it seems his only problem area might be strikeouts, but that's the case with many power hitters. Look for some big numbers from Garret this season.
4. Ryan Doumit, C
Ryand Doumit had a tough 2009, suffering an injury and only playing in 75 games. He had only 10 HRs with a .250 avg. and 38 RBI with 31 runs scored. He also had 70 hits with 16 doubles and no triples.
Doumit should definetly improve in 2010 if he stays healthy. We will have to see how things go in spring training for him. He has some pop when healthy, and could make a change for the Bucos.
5. Ryan Church, RF
Church was traded to the Braves and now is with the Pirates to start the 2010 season.
He played in 111 games with just four HRs, a .273 avg., 40 RBI, and 46 runs. He had 98 hits with 28 doubles no triples.
I'm not sure how well he will do in the Pirates lineup, but you've got to give the guy a chance, because he will at least provide some contact.
6. Lastings Milledge, LF
Even though Milledge may have some ego problems, he is still much younger than Nyjer Morgan and has lots of potential yet.
He only played 65 games last year with four HRs, a .279 avg., and 21 RBI with 21 runs. He had 68 hits with 11 doubles and no triples. He really didn't go anywhere skill wise, but he still has time to do so.
We'll see how things go in spring.
7. Andy LaRoche, 3B
LaRoche played just about the whole season with 150 games. He had 12 HRs, a .258 avg., 64 RBI, and 64 runs. He also racked up 135 hits, 29 doubles, and five triples.
He is pretty disciplined at the plate, but doesn't really hit for average. I see him doing about the same this upcoming year.
8. Ronny Cedeno, SS
Cedeno hit five HRs, 21 RBI, 17 runs, and had a .258 avg. He also got 40 hits with four doubles and one triple.
Cedeno is somewhat slow for a shortstop, and isn't anything all that special. I don't see any change in him this season, but he is useful on defense.
You can see we have some nice potential here, they just need to all be on the same page offensively and defensively. We also need to stay away from any hurting trades at the deadline and keep everyone to build some team charisma.
Hopefully we can pull out a winning season this year.