#11 Pittsburgh Pirates
2016 Run Differential: -29
Best Offseason Move: Bringing in Daniel Hudson
Worst Offseason Move: Letting Sean Rodriguez Sign Elsewhere
The Pittsburgh Pirates finished a staggering 25 games back of the Chicago Cubs in the race for the National League Central last season, but don’t let that fool you, this is a quality team.
If Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole can have bounce-back seasons, Pittsburgh will easily return to contender status.
McCutchen is part of what could be one of the best outfield units in the league.
He’ll combine with Sterling Marte (4.0 WAR, 121 wRC+) and Gregory Polanco (2.5 WAR, .205 ISO) in patrolling the outfield grass at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh’s offense should get a boost not just from a potentially resurgent McCutchen, but also first baseman Josh Bell.
The franchise’s future at the position, Bell was solid in his first taste of Major League action last season.
In 45 games, the first baseman hit .273 with a .368 on-base percentage and a .406 slugging percentage despite logging a .294 BABIP.
Bell also posted a 113 wRC+ while collecting 19 RBI, 18 runs scored, eight doubles and three home runs.
He also showed flashes of Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez in the sense that he walked more times (21) than he struck out.