2007 Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Preview
The Pittsburgh Pirates (67- 95) are coming off their fourteenth consecutive losing season. Despite having some fine young talent can they do any better in 2007? The young arms will have a lot to say about whether or not they can. It is a baseball gambling prediction but Maddux Sports will call for the young Pirates to finish second in the division in 07.
Four starters are 25-years old or younger. The future looks good as each of these talented youngsters continues to develop. Lefties Zach Duke (10- 15, 4.47 ERA) and Paul Maholm (8- 10, 4.76 ERA) will be the first and second starters. Righty Ian Snell (14- 11, 4.74 ERA) looks like the third guy, while lefty Tom Gorzelanny (2- 5, 3.79 ERA) gets the nod after that. Closer Salomon Torres (3- 6, 3.28 ERA, 12 SV) notched his dozen saves in the final month of 2006 and is back for 2007. The middle guys also appear to be solid.
In the batter’s box, third baseman Freddy Sanchez (.344 AVG, 85 RBI, 6 HR) and left fielder Jason Bay (.286 AVG, 109 RBI, 35 HR) are a potent one-two punch. Second baseman Jose Castillo (.253 AVG, 65 RBI, 14 HR) and shortstop Jack Wilson (.273 AVG, 35 RBI, 8 HR) provided some good numbers last year. Catcher Ronny Paulino (310 AVG, 55 RBI, 6 HR) was a consistent contributor.
The defense is average, although Jose Castillo at second is better than most. Shortstop Jack Wilson, normally rock solid, had his worst season ever, making 18 errors. In left field, Bay is all around excellent. Catcher Paulino calls a good game and has an accurate arm but needs to handle the ball more consistently.
In his six years as a major league manager, Jim Tracy has developed a reputation for finding and developing young talent. Under his guidance, the Pirates should improve throughout 2007. GM Dave Littlefield has done little to change the team during the off-season; instead he’s banking on his young guys.
The Pirates may be the surprise club in the National League. The pitching staff is primed to break through and they’ve got some bats that can pop. Stay with Maddux for baseball predictions on Pirate games in the 2007 MLB season.
For more info on Pittsburgh check out the MLB website for the Pirates.