Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
2013 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012 Fantasy outlooks: Pittsburgh Pirates

  •  

For a time it appeared that maybe, just maybe, the Pirates' long streak of futility would end in 2011.

They were atop the NL Central as late as July 25 with a record that was six games above .500. It was too good to be true, though, as the Pirates finished 72-90, completing their 19th straight season with a losing record.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Still, it was the first time since 2004 that Pittsburgh notched more than 70 wins, and there were a few favorable developments. Andrew McCutchen added 20-homer power to his arsenal and cemented his status as a top 10 Fantasy outfielder. Joel Hanrahan also emerged as a top closer, and the starting rotation featured three pitchers with sub-4.00 ERAs.

There were still more disappointments than highlights, as Jose Tabata missed time with injuries, Pedro Alvarez had the mother of all sophomore slumps, and the team went through catchers like Spinal Tap drummers. Tabata and Alvarez will return in 2012, offering the promise of improvement, and should they falter, offseason acquisitions Nate McLouth and Casey McGehee will be around to plug the holes they would leave in the lineup. The Pirates also signed free agents Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas to solidify the shortstop and catcher positions, respectively.

The pitching staff will look largely the same, though one free-agent lefty -- Erik Bedard -- will take the place of another -- Paul Maholm. Two of the three starters with sub-4.00 ERAs, Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton, will head up the rotation (Maholm was the third), and Hanrahan will once again be the team's closer.

While the Pirates should enter 2012 a little stronger and deeper than were a year ago, their fans may have to wait yet another year for a winning record. The good news is that help is on the way, as the farm system offers potential reinforcements for the rotation (Brad Lincoln, Jeff Locke, Gerrit Cole, Rudy Owens) and the outfield (Starling Marte, Robert Grossman) for the not-too-distant future. It's a slow climb, but the Pirates finally appear headed in the right direction.

Breakout ... Jose Tabata, OF

Though Tabata is a breakout candidate, he's one with an asterisk, as he had problems staying healthy last season. That said, he has the potential to steal 30 bases if he plays a full season. Also, Tabata virtually never pops out, so seasons like his last one, in which he batted just .266, should be the exception. While he may never be a 20-homer threat, Tabata's minor league history suggests that there is a little more thump in his bat than what he has shown in his first two seasons. While Tabata is something of an injury risk, he is expected to be ready for opening day, and he should produce like a No. 4 OF in mixed leagues.

One-hit wonder ... Jeff Karstens, SP

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Baseball.

Karstens led the Pirates' starters with a 3.38 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 2011, making him the team's de facto ace. He also posted 16 quality starts in 26 tries, including a streak of nine in a row, which endeared him to owners in Head-to-Head leagues. To be sure, Karstens was a better pitcher last year than he had been in the past, and specifically, he raised his ground ball rate, which led to fewer long balls. However, Karstens still gives up a lot of dingers, so it's unlikely that he can manage to strand 78 percent of his baserunners again this year. While owners may be able to count on Karstens for a low WHIP, look for his ERA to sail north of 4.00, making him a far less attractive option for mixed leagues.

Injury risk sleeper ... Erik Bedard, SP

Bedard, who is a perennial injury risk, missed time again in 2011 due to injuries, but his surgically-repaired left shoulder held up fine. Knee and lat injuries limited the 32-year-old to 24 starts, but he was largely effective in his turns in the rotation. Bedard can still rack up a strikeout per inning, and he will get the benefit of home games at pitcher-friendly PNC Park. Because of his injury history, Bedard can be passed over until the later rounds of mixed league drafts, but if he pitches even as much as he did last year, he could pay a nice dividend to his owners.

2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Jose Tabata RF 1 Jeff Karstens RH
2 Alex Presley LF 2 Charlie Morton RH
3 Andrew McCutchen CF 3 Erik Bedard LH
4 Neil Walker 2B 4 James McDonald RH
5 Garrett Jones 1B 5 Kevin Correia RH
6 Pedro Alvarez 3B Alt Brad Lincoln RH
7 Clint Barmes SS
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Rod Barajas C CL Joel Hanrahan RH
Top bench options SU Evan Meek RH
R Casey McGehee 3B RP Jason Grilli RH
R Nate McLouth OF RP Chris Resop RH
R Michael McKenry C RP Daniel Moskos LH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2011 high Destination
1 Gerrit Cole 21 SP DNP Class A
For the most part, Cole looked sharp in the Arizona Fall League, which marked his pro debut. Could be a late-season callup, and surely a top keeper league target.
2 Jameson Taillon 20 SP Class A Class A
The organization is being conservative with his innings and promotions, so Taillon is not on the fast track. Still deserves to be drafted in long-term keeper leagues.
3 Josh Bell 19 OF DNP Class A
Bell is a switch hitter with great power potential. He is still a ways off from the majors and will make his pro debut this spring.
4 Jeff Locke 24 SP Majors Triple-A
The southpaw has strong command, though it didn't show in his brief big league debut last fall. Likely to start in the minors, Locke could settle into the Bucs' rotation sometime this year.
5 Starling Marte 23 OF Double-A Triple-A
The speedster is starting to develop some power, but could stand to be more patient. Marte is likely to debut sometime in 2012, but fellow prospect Robert Grossman just might leapfrog over him.
Best of the rest: Robert Grossman, OF; Luis Heredia, SP; Kyle McPherson, SP; Tony Sanchez, C; Stetson Allie, SP; Nick Kingham, SP; Alex Dickerson, 1B; Bryan Morris, RP; Zack Von Rosenberg, SP; Zach Dodson, SP; Rudy Owens, SP; Justin Wilson, SP; Clay Holmes, SP; Jose Osuna, OF; Jordy Mercer, SS; Gorkys Hernandez, OF; Duke Welker, RP.
  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Adam Lind his DL with foot fracture
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:37 am ET) The Blue Jays officially placed designated hitter Adam Lind on the disabled list Friday, following news that he could miss up to eight weeks with a foot fracture. Lind is still set to have a second opinion to determine a final timeline for his recovery from the injury.

Alex Guerrero homers in return to game action
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:22 am ET) Dodgers infield prospect Alex Guerrero saw game action for the first time Thursday since undergoing surgery on his ear following a fight.

Guerrero began his rehab assignment with the team's rookie-level affiliate in Arizona, serving as the designated hitter. He went 3 for 5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in the game, his first since late May. 


Blue Jays DFA Bobby Korecky Friday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:07 am ET) The Blue Jays designated pitcher Bobby Korecky for assignment Friday, to clear up a spot on the 40-man roster.  

Korecky spent some time with the Blue Jays earlier in the season, allowing three runs in 3 1/3 innings of work.


No slowing J.D. Martinez down in July
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:04 am ET) Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez has continued his hot-hitting ways in the month of July, as he put together another multi-hit effort in a 16-4 win over the Royals.

Four days after slugging his career-high 12th home run of the season, Martinez was held in the yard Thursday. He still managed to make his impact felt, reaching base three times and driving in three runs, while going 2 for 3 with a walk. He added a pair of runs scored in the win.

Martinez is hitting .429/.462/.829 with three home runs and nine RBI in nine July games.  


Dan Johnson to get the call for Blue Jays
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:59 am ET) The Jays will select the contract of infielder Dan Johnson from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Friday's game against the Rays, according to SportsNet.ca.

Johnson signed a minor-league contract with the Jays in the offseason, and was hitting .248/.402/.471 in 94 games at Buffalo. Adam Lind is expected to be placed on the disabled list with a foot injury in order to make room. 


Torii Hunter drives in three more in win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:51 am ET)  Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter has been scorching hot since the start of July, as he put together his sixth multi-hit game in nine chances in a 16-4 win over the Royals.

Hunter went 3 for 6 in the blowout win, with a solo home run. He drove in three runs overall and scored twice, bringing his RBI total for the month to 14 in nine games.

Hunter was hitting just .249 on July 1, but has raised his season average to .276 with his play since. He is hitting .444/.447/.750 with three home runs and 14 RBI in nine July games.


Carlos Santana hits homer No. 14
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) Indians catcher Carlos Santana had just one hit Thursday, but he made it count in a 9-3 win over the Yankees.

Santana went 1 for 5 with a two-run home run in the win, while striking out twice. It was his second home run of the month of July and 14th of the season.

Santana is hitting .208/.349/.391 in 81 games. 


Roberto Perez homers in big-league debut
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:36 am ET) The Indians got a big performance from catcher Roberto Perez in his major-league debut Thursday, in a 9-3 win over the Yankees.

Perez reached base three times in the win, going 2 for 3 with a walk. He added a home run and two RBI, while scoring twice.

Perez spent two days on the roster before getting his first action, so it is not clear how much playing time he might find moving forward. 


Jair Jurrjens sent down following second start
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:28 am ET) The Rockies optioned pitcher Jair Jurrjens to Triple-A Colorado Springs Friday, in order to clear a roster space for the return of Carlos Gonzalez from the disabled list.

Jurrjens made two starts for the Rockies, allowing eight runs over 9 1/3 innings, with nine strikeouts and a 2.46 WHIP. He could return to the rotation after the All-Star break if needed.  


Asdrubal Cabrera drives in three with triple
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) Indians infielder Asdrubal Cabrera put together his first multi-RBI in weeks Thursday, in a 9-3 win over the Yankees.

Cabrera reached base three times, and none of those times was more important than when he drove in three runs with a seventh-inning triple to tied the game. He finished the game 2 for 4 with one run scored and a walk in addition to his three RBI.

Cabrera had just one RBI in the first eight games of the month of July, and now has 37 RBI in 86 games overall. He is hitting .251/.312/.398 in 339 at-bats.  


 
 
 
Rankings