With the Pirates first basemen struggles this year, yes I'm talking to you Lyle Overbay, the Buccos need to try something different. A possible replacement who does not get mentioned much is Matt Hague.
The Pirates drafted Hague in the 9th round of the 2008 draft out of Oklahoma St giving him a $250,000 bonus. While his power graded well coming out of college it has not translated as well in the pros. But Hague has always hit for average well at every level, never having a full season ops under .800. His best season was in AA last year when he hit .295/.375/.442 with 15 home runs and and a 61/62 bb/k ratio in Altoona.
Hague has always put up good bb/k ratios and that would seem to translate well to the majors. This year as a 25 year old in AAA Hague has put up a respectable .307/.353/.429 slash line with 5 home runs, 19 walks, and 31 strikeouts, that is a .782 ops. The walk rate is pretty low-7.3%, but the k rate is very low as well. at 11.8%.
Yes, I know that his power does not translate well for a 1st baseman in the majors, but Overbay has hit 5 home runs and has a paltry ops of .660, I do not think that you can do much worse at the position. I believe we have a few guys at AAA would could improve our offense right now, Hague, d'Arnaud, Presley, and Fryer.
No, I am not suggesting Matt Hague is the savior of the Pittsburgh offense, no I am not saying he is going to come up and put up all star numbers and rescue the Pirates, but I do think he can hit above Overbay's level. Also Hague is getting pretty old for a prospect and it would be nice to see what he could do.
Obviously. I do not have all the answers but this lineup would look good to me.
1. Tabata LF 2. Presley RF 3. McCutchen CF 4. Walker 2B 5. Hague 1B 6. Harrison 3B 7. d'Arnaud SS 8. McKendry/Fryer C.
I would send down Ciriaco and Brown and dump Diaz and Overbay-hey not my money