The 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense was a roller coaster ride to say the least.
From the beginning of the season until mid-May, the Bucs had one of the worst offenses that Major League Baseball has seen in a very long time. But like we always say, through 162 games, things have a way of averaging out and despite tearing the cover off the ball in the middle of the season; the Pirates’ offense was one of the worst in baseball during the final two months of the season.
But in the middle of the season, the Bucs’ bats exploded and took fans on a ride. They were a fun team to watch and got contributions from almost everyone in a Pirates’ uniform.
But it wasn’t just the production that went up and down, but the overall identity of this team.
The Pirates started the season as a team based on speed at the top of the lineup with Alex Presley, Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen, but they never got going and fans never got a real chance to see what all of that speed at the top of the lineup was capable of doing.
However somehow in the middle of the season, the Bucs became a power hitting team that feasted on the long ball, having the best offense in all of baseball in June and July, producing some fun moments along the way.
But you live by the long ball, you die by the long ball and that’s ultimately what happened to this team as in August and September they reverted back to being a horrendous team hitting with runners in scoring position.
However while we all know the disappointments with the way the 2012 season ended up, there were some bright spots along the way including an MVP-type of season from Andrew McCutchen and watching Pedro Alvarez emerge as a legitimate run producer.
But there were far more disappointments then positives throughout the course of the season.
With that being said, here a look at how the Pirates team as a whole graded out during the 2012 season.
First, here’s a look at where the Bucs ranked in each category.
AVG- .246 (14th in National League)
Runs- 651 (10th)
Hits- 1,313 (14th)
Doubles- 241 (15th)
Triples- 37 (6th)
Home Runs- 170 (4th)
RBI- 620 (11th)
Walks- 444 (last)
Strike Outs- 1,354 (2nd most)
Stolen Bases- 73 (last)
Caught Stealing- 52 (most)
OBP- .304 (14th)
SLG- .395 (9th)
OPS- .699 (11th)
RISP- .240 (11th)
RISP w/ 2 out- .219 (10th)
What this illustrates is that the Pirates have a long way to go in order to become a competitive hitting ball club.
Other than hitting the ball out of the ball park, there really wasn’t much that the Bucs did well as a team.
To be kindly they had major problems hitting the ball, especially with runners on base. In addition, this team struggles to get on base, which is the name of the game and when they do get on, they run into way too many outs.
Quite simply, if this team is ever going to get better, they must perform as an offense better.
The overall numbers in every category except homers is simply unacceptable and must get better next season.
Who is the onus on? You can blame former hitting coach Gregg Ritchie and manager Clint Hurdle all you want, but ultimately the blame has to go on the players. They are the ones that have failed to come through time and time again.
Just ask yourself where this team would have been offensively without McCutchen in the lineup.
2012 Grade: D
Upcoming Pirates Reviews
Friday- Grading the Prates’ Pitching Staff
Monday- Grading the Individual Pirates’ Hitters
Tuesday- Grading the Individual Pirates’ Pitchers