Burning Fantasy Baseball Questions: Pittsburgh Pirates

by Tim Heaney on January 17, 2013 @ 15:22:26 PDT


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KFFL answers important fantasy baseball questions about each Major League Baseball team as spring training approaches. What must fantasy baseball players know about the Pittsburgh Pirates?

How strong is Andrew McCutchen's case for the first round?

Pittsburgh Pirates SP A.J. Burnett
Burnett fits in 'Burgh

It slightly resembles Mike Trout's power-speed combo. If you take him in the top three or so, you're pushing it. He's more attractive toward the stanza's middle and especially so near the end. Often in early mocks, he's going as a top-five grab, though, which may backfire.

His career highs in homers (31) and batting average (.327) came at the same time. It's bold to think both will improve on or hover near each level. The clip is the likelier point of sacrifice because he swung more often and took fewer walks, which contributed to his contact rate collapse. The taters will come back a bit, too, because he actually hit fewer flies.

The drawbacks won't necessarily make his line B.J. Uptonian, and base thefts always supplement dollar returns, but a potential 20-plus-point downward BA swing strips away tangible bucks. He hasn't reached his apex yet, but for the immediate future, too many stars have to align for it to happen in his age-26 year.

Where do Pedro Alvarez and A.J. Burnett go from here?

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AL East
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays

AL Central
Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins

AL West
Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers

NL East
Atlanta Braves
Miami Marlins
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals

NL Central
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals

NL West
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants

About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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