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Pirates Spring Training outfielders: Who are these guys?

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Last but not least are the outfielders.  The Pirates don't exactly have a lot of need here, given their starting lineup.  That's all the more true because they start three center fielders, so they don't need a center fielder on the bench.  Instead, a lot of the outfield backing up may be handled by players who are primarily infielders, possibly including Michael Morse, Jason Rogers, John Jaso and, unfortunately, Sean Rodriguez.  For that reason, there wasn't a need for them to bring in many outfielders and it's uncertain whether they'll need much contribution from the players on this list.  Even Austin Meadows didn't get a non-roster invitation.  (The fact that Reese McGuire did probably says more about the need for numerous catchers in camp than anything else.)

Uniform numbers are shown.  The full series is here.  The starting outfielders won't be covered.

Willy Garcia (60): Garcia has two loud tools:  over-the-fence power and an outfield arm that's probably one of the best anywhere in baseball.  He also swings at everything, with a K:BB ratio that's generally hovered around 6:1, although it improved to 5:1 in 2015.  A little surprisingly, the dismal plate discipline didn't stop him from having his two best seasons after reaching AA, although he mostly struggled after reaching AAA at mid-season last year.  He may be one of those guys who can be reasonably productive despite a lack of patience.  Jeff Francoeur is a fairly good comp (although, believe it or not, his plate discipline, with a 4:1 K:BB ratio in the majors, has been markedly better than Garcia's).  Francoeur has been fairly solid in roughly half his major league seasons, so it's possible Garcia could be a useful player despite the strike zone issues.  Garcia has two more options left and a lot of competition for a bench job, so he's likely to stay in AAA most or all of the year and work on his approach at the plate.

Chance of contributing in 2016:  Low.

Jake Goebbert (23): Goebbert is similar to several other players the Pirates have brought to camp recently:  a left-handed corner bat with a good eye at the plate, good contact skills, and only modest over-the-fence power.  Other examples are Jaff Decker and Chris McGuiness.  They even traded a similar player, Alex Dickerson, to get Decker.  Conversely, they haven't been interested in marginal, swing-and-miss power types like Chris Carter and Kyle Blanks.  Goebbert has played mostly in the outfield in the minors and apparently can even fake it in center a little.  In his one major league stint, with San Diego in 2014, he played mostly first, hitting 218/313/317 in 115 plate appearances.  His best chance of reaching Pittsburgh is clearly as a fourth outfielder.  Clint Hurdle seems to like the idea of a left-handed bench bat, so Goebbert should have a reasonable shot at a job out of spring training, or later as events dictate.  It helps that he's on the 40-man roster, although he has three options.

Chance of contributing in 2016:  Moderate to high.

Danny Ortiz (68): Ortiz is roughly Goebbert with bad plate discipline.  Scouts seem to like his swing and power potential, but he actually hasn't hit for any more power than Goebbert while walking in only five percent of his plate appearances.  He's 26 now and hasn't reached the majors.  He's played mainly the outfield corners, with a little time in center.  Ortiz will probably compete with Goebbert for the left-handed bench bat role -- assuming the Pirates go with a left-handed bench bat and not, say, with Jason Rogers -- but Goebbert looks like the better choice of the two.  Among other things, Goebbert is on the roster while Ortiz will be in camp on an NRI.

Chance of contributing in 2016:  Low.

Harold Ramirez (72): One of the Pirates' top prospects, Ramirez has been held back by injuries, conditioning issues and, oddly, a couple of infections.  When he's been able to play, he's hit lots and lots of line drives.  He was arguably the best hitter in the Florida State League in 2015 and is now on the 40-man roster.  He also showed up at mini-camp in noticeably better shape than in the past.  He hasn't played above AA yet, so his chances of reaching Pittsburgh in 2016 are almost nil.  Ramirez runs well and can play center, but there's a heck of a lot of talent ahead of him at that spot.  He might be a leading candidate to help the team in a trade.

Chance of contributing in 2016:  Low to none.

Antoan Richardson (62): Richardson is a speedy outfielder who has great speed.  He has no power at all, but he's speedy.  To be fair, he's not just speedy; he also draws walks, enough so that his career OBP in the minors is .395.  It's even .397 in AA, where he's spent most of his time, and .381 in AAA.  He's been an extremely efficient base stealer, going 56-for-59 in AAA and 6-for-6 in his major league opportunities.  I'm not sure why a guy with his speed and on-base ability has gotten so little time in the majors -- just 22 games and 21 plate appearances -- but scouts probably are justifiably suspicious whether he can continue drawing walks at the major league level.  Richardson is 32 now and missed nearly all of 2015 due to back surgery, so it's possible the speed won't all be there.  He'll be in camp on an NRI.

Chance of contributing in 2016:  Low.