Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pittsburgh Pirates Off Season Primer: First Base

To continue where I left off we go on to first base.  The Pirates had six players act as first basemen this season, I'm going to leave out those with less than five innings.

The List

Josh Bell 147 games, 0.8 WAR, -11.9 DEF, $0.5M
Jose Osuna 23 games, -0.5 WAR, -1.4 DEF, $0.5M
John Jaso 29 games, 0.3 WAR, 0.4 DEF, $4M
David Freese 3 games, N/A (at first), -0.6 DEF, $6.25M

Brief overview

Josh Bell is starting to live up to the hype.  On the season went .255/.334/.466 tied the Pirate rookie record for home runs and greatly improved his defense at first.  Baring something crazy he's the teams first baseman for years to come.  He still needs improvement at first and will need to watch that AVG/OBP but he was still seeing quite a few pitches so his eye is still pretty good.

Jose Osuna has some power, still needs some work both offensively and defensivly.  Played mostly corner outfield and first during the season and did so reasonably well.

John Jaso didn't have much luck this season. He came out of his slump for a short time but fell hard again.  Jaso did a great job learning first base last year but it might be the end of the road for him as he is contiplating retirement.

David Freese didnt' have to play first much this season, thankfully everyone else stayed pretty healthy.


My opinion

With out a doubt, Bell is the first basemen next season.  With both Freese and S-Rod back on the team Osuna might end up back in AAA until needed or he forces the issue.  This is especially true if Kang returns.  No changes 'need' to be made at this position.  If anything they could attempt to trade Freese if Kang is returning and call Osuna back, but really not nessiscary, David is a quality bench piece who is capable of being an everyday starter if needed and is reasonably cheap.

The offseason/draft

No changes need to be made, What is even better is that Freese is making $2M less next season and with Jaso's contract expiring the team is saving $6M with out even making a change.  Doubt Neal's personel selections all you want but the man is thrifty and knows how to save money.

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