The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t finished with a record above .500 since 1992, way back when Jim Leyland had gray hair….how old is that guy anyways? However, there are a couple of bright spots on this otherwise dismal ballclub that could end up being attractive fantasy baseball options (Jim Leyland is not one of them).
|C Ryan Doumit||.250||.299||.414||31||10||38||0||280|
|1B Jeff Clement||.274||.354||.496||81||21||90||2||470||in AAA|
|2B Akinori Iwamura||.290||.355||.390||28||1||22||9||231||w/TB|
|SS Bobby Crosby||.223||.295||.357||35||6||29||2||238||w/OAK|
|3B Andy LaRoche||.258||.330||.401||64||12||64||3||524|
|LF Lastings Milledge||.279||.323||.373||21||4||21||7||244|
|CF Andrew McCutchen||.286||.365||.471||74||12||54||2||433|
|RF Garrett Jones||.293||.372||.567||45||21||44||10||314|
Unsettled: First Base. The Pirates seem unwilling to commit to Jeff Clement full time at first base after signing Ryan Church. Clement does hold good power potential and is also eligible at catcher, but he’s yet to hit at the major league level. He’s a good player to keep an eye on, but not someone you should draft.
Target: Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen is one of the few sure things on this Pittsburgh team, and holds lots of promise. Last season McCutchen really impressed during his tenure in the bigs and has clear-cut 20/30 talent. He’s definitely a player you want on your fantasy team.
|Zach Duke (L)||11-16||4.06||1.32||106||49||213.0|
|Paul Maholm (L)||8-9||4.44||1.101||160||58||194.2|
|Ross Ohlendorf (R)||11-10||3.92||1.23||109||53||176.2|
|Charlie Morton (R)||5-9||4.55||1.46||62||40||97.0|
|Daniel McCutchen (R)||13-6||3.47||1.22||110||29||142.2||in AAA|
Unsettled: Back of the Rotation. There’s open competition for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation, but Morton and McCutchen are likely the front runners to land the jobs. Donald Veal, Kevin Hart, Bryan Morris and Brad Lincoln are other guys who will get innings during spring.
Target: Nobody. Maholm, Duke and Ohlendorf are all decent pitchers but mediocre fantasy options. Daniel McCutchen pitched well in AAA last year and got the job done for the Pirates after getting called up last August. McCuchen holds more promise than the other members of the rotation and could be a good sleeper candidate. As it stands all of these guys are mediocre fantasy options that you should avoid drafting.
The 8th and 9th Innings
|Octavio Dotel (R)||o||3.32||1.44||75||36||62.1||w/CWS|
|Joel Hanrahan (R)||5||4.78||1.67||72||34||64.0|
Chasing Saves: Dotel is a decent pitcher but hasn’t closed games full time since 2004. He’s a player worth drafting, but should be drafted as a bottom tier closer. Hanrahan, Meek, Donnelly or some other uninteresting option would take over 9th inning duties if Dotel falters.
Andrew McCutchen is garnering a lot of hype this fantasy season and will likely be drafted before the 8th round; as a guy who can hit 20 homers and steal 30 bases, this is someone you want on your team. Garrett Jones is an interesting case as he crushed the ball last season since getting called up. He has fluke written all over him, but he’s definitely a guy worth taking late in the draft if you’re in need of someone who can hit the long ball. Ryan Doumit battled injuries last season but he’s a catcher who can hit the ball and should be drafted accordingly. Lastings Milledge is a great post hype sleeper candidate, but he seems to let us fantasy baseball owners down every season. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he put together a 20/20 season and may be worth stashing on your bench. For pitchers Octavio Dotel could be a cheap source of saves and will probably one of the last closers taken in your draft. Duke, Maholm and Ohlendorf are all mediocre fantasy options and should go undrafted.
Bryan Williams is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Bryan in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of MasterX1918.
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