FanPost

Pedro's Production - How much of a difference can he make?

I wanted to take a look at how other teams lineups are put together and to see how much of an impact Pedro Alvarez could have on the team. I wanted to see where other teams have punch, holes, and whether adding one impact bat to the Pirates might lift them enough to compete with other offenses.

I took the starting 8 for the Reds, Brewers, Cards and Cubs to see how close the Pirates are from some of those other division offenses.

First, let's look at what the Pirates have been running out there most often this year...

PIRATES - 208 Runs
Andrew McCutchen OF 0.384
Garrett Jones OF 0.357
Ryan Doumit C 0.351
Lastings MilledgeOF 0.297
Andy LaRoche 3B 0.278
Ronny Cedeno SS 0.271
Akinori Iwamura 2B 0.264
Jeff Clement 1B 0.237
-0.200 Total wOBA points below average

 

McCutchen is a really good hitter - by far the best the Pirates have right now. And that's not good. Because unless you've got a .400+ wOBA hitter, it's tough to compete.

Jones is heating up - hitting about .450 wOBA this month, but that's not a realistic sustainable level for him. I still think he can be a .370 wOBA guy. We'll see how he does from here out. Last year he was close to .400 wOBA. But he's probably a .360 to .370 wOBA guy.

Doumit at .350 - this is probably about right for him. He's really struggling at the plate right now, but .345 to .360 seems about right.

And then....yikes. Luckily, we've got the calvary up to take the place of most of these others. Let's see how far away we are....

 

REDS - 327 Runs      
Joey Votto 1B 0.411
Scott Rolen 3B 0.404
Jonny Gomes OF 0.373
Brandon Phillips 2B 0.371
Jay Bruce OF 0.355
Ramon Hernandez C 0.347
Drew Stubbs OF 0.332
Orlando Cabrera SS 0.300
0.253 total wOBA points above average

The Reds are formidable right now. Two .400+ wOBA hitters, two .370 wOBA hitters, two .350 wOBA hitters, a .330 for your CF (which is average) and .300 for your SS (which is an average SS).

You can imagine that Gomes, Phillips and Hernandez = McCutchen, Jones and Doumit...oops...we've used all our best players and they haven't even touched theirs. Wow. We are far from them right now.

BREWERS - 320 Runs
Corey Hart OF 0.389
Ryan Braun OF 0.386
Prince Fielder 1B 0.380
Jim Edmonds OF 0.352
Rickie Weeks 2B 0.350
Casey McGehee 3B 0.347
Carlos Gomez OF 0.297
Alcides Escobar SS 0.294
0.155 total wOBA points above average

OK, looking at the Brewers lineup...here is a lineup we could more compete with, but mostly just because Fielder has not his usual .400+wOBA self until recently. Now that he's kicked it into gear, that may be trouble.

As you see, they've got 3 Andrew McCutchen level performers and 3 Doumit level performers. Nobody as inept as Cedeno with the bat. Still, a little more within sites, I guess.

CARDINALS - 293 Runs
Colby Rasmus OF 0.420
Albert Pujols 1B 0.412
Ryan Ludwick OF 0.366
Matt Holliday OF 0.360
David Freese 3B 0.359
Yadier Molina C 0.300
Brendan Ryan SS 0.280
Skip Schumaker 2B 0.276
0.133 total wOBA points above average

The Cardinals...Again, TWO .400+ wOBA performers and THREE .360 wOBA performers. But...then three below average performers with the bat.

CUBS - 267 Runs
Marlon Byrd OF 0.397
Geovany Soto C 0.386
Alfonso Soriano OF 0.386
Kosuke Fukudome OF 0.363
Mike Fontenot 2B 0.339
Derrek Lee 1B 0.310
Starlin Castro SS 0.278
Aramis Ramirez 3B 0.231
0.050 total wOBA points above average

The Cubs...whoa! What has happened to Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez? Despite that, you might imagine that Soriano, Fukudome and Fontenot = Cutch, Jones and Doumit. That still leaves the Cubs with 2 players above .385 wOBA we've had no answer for. And the Cubs are only .50 wOBA points above average.

 

OK, so it's pretty obvious the Bucs have an enormous way to go. Which brings us to our question...How much of a difference can Pedro Alvarez make if we are so far away?

I've now inserted the cavalry into the lineup, and I have just given each a value of .340 wOBA because I think it's obvious from their play so far that we should expect to get that production out of each of them. If we don't that would be very disappointing.

PIRATES PROJECTED
Jose Tabata OF 0.340
Neil Walker 2B 0.340
Andrew McCutchen OF 0.384
Garrett Jones OF 0.357
Ryan Doumit C 0.351
Pedro Alvarez 3B 0.340
Steve Pearce 1B 0.340
Ronny Cedeno SS 0.271
0.073 total wOBA points above average

OK...Now we're talking! At least this is not horrible and we've risen higher than the Cubs total wOBA. Now, what if Pedro Alvarez does really become that .400+ wOBA hitter we know he has the potential to become? Adding 60 or 70 wOBA points to the total, that brings the Pirates up to the level of the Cardinals right now and within a stone's throw of the Brewers.

So, to answer the question. If the rest of the Pirates lineup continues to suck, Pedro will not give the Pirates a good offense even if he hits .400 wOBA. But, if the other pieces of the cavalry perform up to their abilities, that makes a lineup with a .400+ wOBA hitter very effective, and would seem to give us the chance to compete with most teams in our division.

The Pirates could have that happen in the near future.

Now, about that pitching...yikes.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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