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Season Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

The 2011 campaign (72-90) was one Pirates fans can finally say that their team may be coming back, slowly, but surely. In fact, Pittsburgh was above .500 on June 24, which may not seem significant for some, but for Pirates fans it was the latest the team has been over .500 in the season since 1999. They were in the thick of the playoff race going into the All-Star Break, but then struggled down the stretch, finishing fourth in the NL Central. However, for Bucs fans, there is much to take away from this. For instance, Andrew McCutchen (.256/.364/.456) is a bonafide star. For Pirates fans, they probably already knew that and argue that this was the worst of his three seasons offensively with the club, but a closer look reveals it was actually his best (5.7 WAR in 2011, compared to 3.5 and 3.7 in 2009 and 2010, respectively) as an all-around player. He improved his glovework, which helped him post his first positive UZR/150 season (3.3) since entering the league. At a premium position in center field, McCutchen is definitely a player the Pirates need to carry them going forward.

Huntington: Neil Walker Could Compete for Starting Third Base Job

Pirates.com: Huntington has indicated that there are still checkpoints the organization would like Walker to meet in the Minors before earning a promotion. However, if LaRoche doesn't show...

When Hype is Just Sad

As if you didn't have enough reason to be depressed, I point you to two sad articles from Pirates.com--one about Nyjer Morgan, and one about Neil Walker. You know you're in the midst of a really...

The Minor League Season Winds Down

The Post-Gazette recaps the Pirates' minor league season. If I tried to recap the minor league season myself I'd probably wind up repeating a lot of stuff I wrote a couple weeks ago in my prospects...

My Top 20 Prospects

Everyone's doing it, from Bucs Dugout readers to Dejan Kovacevic to WTM, so I may as well get in on the action. 1. Pedro Alvarez, 3B: It may seem odd to give the top spot to a guy who hasn't even...

Neil Walker "Thriving"!

So says Pirates.com: It's near unanimous by those who have had their eye on Walker, who is in his first full year at Triple-A, that he is playing third base at a level well exceeding his...

The Draft is Tomorrow

With all due respect to Pat, who I think is dead-on in his writing about 99% of the time, there are a number of assertions I disagree with here (like the notion that the phrase "five-tool" doesn't...

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