Last season the Pirates finished the season at 68-94 and had the second to worst record in baseball behind the Tampa Rays. Does this team have any players with fantasy value? The answer is yes!
Notable Off-Season Moves
Signed Doug Mientkiewicz to a minor league deal. Doug adds leadership, a great glove and post season experience to a very young team.
Traded Solomon Torres to the Brewers, solidifying Matt Capps as the closer and Damaso Marte as the set up man.
Projected Positional Starters
C- Ronnie Paulino/ Ryan Doumit
1B- Adam Laroche
2B- Freddy Sanchez
3B- Jose Bautista
SS- Jack Wislon
LF- Jason Bay
CF- Nyjer Morgan/ Nate McLouth
RF- Xavier Nady
Projected Starting Rotation
Ace- Tom Gorzelanny
2- Ian Snell
3- Paul Maholm
4- Matt Morris
5- Zack Duke
Closer- Matt Capps
Set Up Men- Damaso Marte, Byung-Hyun Kim, and John Grabow
Also Invited to Camp:
Jaret Wright - Has a lot to prove, check his numbers this spring and see if he still has it.
Casey Fossum- He was once traded for Curt Schilling so he must be good...
Hitters to Draft
Adam Laroche, 1B - If you get overwhelmed during your draft and look at your sheet in the 18th round and see you don't have a first baseman, Adam Laroche will save the day. Look for LaRoche to give you 20 HR and about 80 RBI.
Xavier Nady, RF - The X man can hit for power and will give you numbers similar to LaRoche. X is a good fifth outfielder or bench guy you can plug into the DH/U spot of your lineup from day to day.
Freddy Sanchez, 2B - Underrated second basemen here. The second base position is deep with studs, however, don't worry if you don't get one, Sanchez will be around after the dust clears. Hollywood Freddy will give you an average around .300 with some runs scored and RBIs and will not hurt you in the field.
Pitchers to Draft
Tom Gorzelanny, SP - The man who has done everything Zack Duke was supposed to do but didn't. Gorzelanny posted a career high last season with 14 wins. He is steadily improving in his young career. 135 strikeouts isn't too bad and won't kill you if you make him your number 3 or 4 starter.
Matt Capps, CL - Solomon Torres out! Matty Capps in! The Holds virtuoso is now the Pirates closer. Following in the footsteps of Rivera, Lidge and K Rod. Will Capps be the next big time closer? Last season he was 18/21 in save opportunities and posted a 2.28 ERA. I consider him a top closer and he will be around late in your draft.
Ian Snell, SP - He should have double digit wins and looks to be following the footsteps of Oliver Perez. Show great stuff every once in a while and be stuck in Pittsburgh. He will also provide a boost in your teams strikeouts and his ERA should be in the mid 3's.
Players to Avoid
Matt Morris, SP - He's old, has an ERA near five, is stuck in Pittsburgh and doesn't have dazzling stuff.
Zack Duke, SP - You would think he was traded to the American League the way he has been pitching. Duke just hasn't panned out in the big leagues and is losing favor in Pittsburgh. Maybe a change of scenery will help this young man get his career going.
Nyjer Morgan, CF - The young center fielder could be the next big base stealer in the major leagues. In the minors he stole over twenty bases at every level and even stole 59 in 2006! If he can show he can hit big league pitching he may be the next Juan Pierre. Last season in his September call up he batted 299 and had 7 stolen bases in 28 games.