Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training: Ranking The Top 5 Early Standouts
5 Standout Performers From Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training
Now that the Pittsburgh Pirates have shaken the 20-plus year playoff drought, it seems like they are addicted to winning. Clearly, the Pirates are spoiled now. Come on, Bucs, let some other teams win. Through the first eight games, the Pirates are 6-1 with a tie as well.
Spring Training statistics and standings really don't matter that much, to be honest, but it is fun to see baseball being played and stats being compiled. Also, even though it is just Spring Training, it is nice to see the Pirates at first place in the Grapefruit League.
Much like the 2013 season, the Pirates are winning games thanks to their pitching staff. As a team, the Pirates have a 2.75 ERA, which ranks third in the entire MLB in Spring Training. An organization that focuses on their pitchers inducing ground balls, the Pirates have done this well so far, ranking third with 94 ground-outs.
Offensively, much like last season, it's been a bit of a struggle. As a whole, the Pirates are hitting .261/.315/.432 with a .747 OPS. The Pirates have done a nice job on the bases, however, with 11 steals in 12 attempts. The 11 steals rank second in all of baseball so far this spring.
Even though we are only a little over a week into Spring Training, there are already a few players that are making good impressions. For the most part, the statistics in Spring Training are meaningless. However, there are some instances where they are important. The Pirates don't necessarily have any position battles that could be swayed by Spring Training performance, but they do have some players that are playing very well thus far.
5. Gaby Sanchez
The right-handed hitting first baseman in the Pirates' first base platoon, Gaby Sanchez is having a great spring so far. In a small sample size, just seven plate appearances, Sanchez is hitting .500/.571/.833.
4. Travis Snider
The Pirates' right field situation is cloudy right now, but Travis Snider is doing his best to earn playing time. After missing the first few games, Snider is healthy again. In nine plate appearances, he is hitting .444/.444/.889 with a home run.
3. Chris McGuiness
Like the Pirates' right field situation, the first base position is probably still undecided. Andrew Lambo is the obvious favorite to win the job as the left-handed hitter in the platoon, but Chris McGuiness isn't going to go down without a fight. In 13 plate appearances, the first baseman is hitting .417/.462/.583.
2. Charlie Morton
The Pirates as an organization love pitchers that induce ground balls. Charlie Morton, or "Ground Chuck", certainly fits on this roster. In five innings so far this spring, Morton hasn't allowed an earned run. Of the 16 outs he has recorded, eight of them have come via ground ball.
1. Vin Mazzaro
Ground balls have been common for Vin Mazzaro this spring, just like Morton. In three innings, Mazzaro has recorded six of his 12 outs on ground balls. He has yet to allow an earned run.