Pittsburgh Pirates: Who Has The Best Talent In The National League Central?


At the end of February, the MLB Network produced their Top 100 List of Major League Players Right Now, shown as five segments over three days. Each program was one hour long and was hosted by Greg Amsinger, Ron Darling and Bill Ripken.

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The National League Central Division had a total of 22 players on the survey. The St. Louis Cardinals led the way with six players, followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds with five apiece. The Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers checked in with three players each.

I am sure to no one’s surprise the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen was the highest rated NL Central player overall at No. 6.

Going from first to fifth, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, Mike Trout of the Angels, Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, and Chris Sale of the White Sox were the quintet rated ahead of the 5-foot-10, 190-pound All-Star center fielder from Fort Meade, Florida.

The other four members of the Jolly Roger crew in the top 100 were all ranked in the latter half of the poll. Third baseman Josh Harrison made his debut this year at No. 64. Second baseman Neil Walker was set at 73, while left fielder Starling Marte was situated at 81. Right-handed starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was the last of the Bucs to make the tally at No. 92.

For Milwaukee, catcher Jonathan Lucroy was the highest rated Brewer at No. 23. Center fielder Carlos Gomez was placed at No. 38 and right fielder Ryan Bruan found himself at No. 63.

Checking in at Wrigley Field, the Cubs have left-handed starting pitcher Jon Lester at No. 43. Chicago’s first baseman Anthony Rizzo was No. 53 and starting right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta was stationed at No. 89.

Heading down the river to the Great American Ballpark, right-handed 20-game winner Johnny Cueto came in at No. 16 for the Reds. Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto was parked at No. 32 while left-handed relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman was slated at No. 61. Third baseman Todd Frazier was ranked No. 74 and catcher Devin Mesoraco claimed the spot at No. 91.

The defending NL Central champion Cardinals saw starting right-hander Adam Wainwright enter the list at No. 14. Saint Louis catcher Yadler Molina was cataloged at No. 19, and shortstop Jhonny Peralta was graded at No. 41. Right fielder Jason Heyward came in at No. 44 while left fielder Matt Holliday was two back at No. 46. Starting right-hander Lance Lynn was the final Card at No. 88.

Did the folks at the MLB Network get it right? Where would you place some of the Pirates in this pecking order? Let me know in the comments section below. Now, let’s take a quick look around the NL Central for this week.

David Miniel at the Cubbies Crib reports that third base prospect Kris Bryant and his teammates are more excited about this season than the fans.

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    Over at Redbird Rants, Joseph Schneider is impressed with outfielder Tommy Pham’s progress at spring training.

    The Bucs continue to make progress in Bradenton, so let’s you and I see what people are writing about the Jolly Roger crew from around the internet.

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    The guys and gals at Forbes To Federal examine the results of FanGraphs’ 2015 Projected Standings and Playoff Probabilities for Clint Hurdle’s crew and the rest of the NL Central.

    Time to lift anchor on this session Pirates fans. See you next week to see what is happening in and around the NL Central.

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