The Pittsburgh Pirates keep on plugging along in this dream of a 2013 season. They’ve been one of the best stories in a season full of them, and are looking to finish strong and clinch not only a winning season, but perhaps a National League Central title. But even with that in mind, is this time a World Series contender?
We know that this team has the talent on the mound to compete with the best of the league. They’re among the top of the league in nearly every pitching category, and have a deep bullpen to compliment it as well. In terms of their ability to contend, the arms are not a concern.
There was talk around the trade deadline that the Bucs would try and acquire a bat, but they were unable to do so, striking out in trying to bring in the likes of Alex Rios, instead rolling on with the roster they currently have in place.
The Bucs are towards the bottom of the league in team batting average, are 23rd in runs scored, and haven’t flashed a ton of power either, ranking 20th in the league in home runs. They have offensive talent, sure, but do they have enough to get them to where they’d like to be this season?
In a short playoff series, the simple answer is yes. This team has enough pop to keep up with some of the top teams in the league. Right in the middle of it all, you have an MVP candidate, one of the top power bats at the hot corner anywhere in the game, and some guys who are just starting to hit their stride.
If you have a guy like Andrew McCutchen in the lineup, you have a chance to win every night. He’s a five tool guy and capable of generating offense on his own. Pedro Alvarez has as much power as any third baseman in the league, with 28 big flies so far this year. Neil Walker is starting to find his form, and is an offensive threat when he’s on. The likes of Garrett Jones, Starling Marte, and Russell Martin are all capable of adding extra pop.
The numbers aren’t exactly favorable for the Pirates, but they do have the talent, at least on paper, to compete for a pennant in the National League. If what we’ve seen so far this season is any indication, don’t count this team out until the final out of their 2013 season.