First Pitch: Questions For the Pirates’ Roster Moving Forward

The Pirates agreed to deals with three of their arbitration eligible players yesterday, locking up Erik Gonzalez, Jameson Taillon, and Michael Feliz. They also tendered contracts to ten other arbitration eligible players, listed below:

Josh Bell, 1B
Steven Brault, LHP
Kyle Crick, RHP
Adam Frazier, 2B
Chad Kuhl, RHP
Colin Moran, DH
Joe Musgrove, RHP
Richard Rodriguez, RHP
Jacob Stallings, C
Chris Stratton, RHP

We can assume that all of the players from this group will be on the MLB roster to open the 2021 season. I’ve been breaking down the positional battles and where each player fits in the organization over the last month, and had all of these guys projected for the roster. There are a few interesting questions yet to be answered with how this group will be utilized.

**Chad Kuhl and Steven Brault, for example, are both on the bubble of the starting rotation. Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon are locks for the rotation, and Mitch Keller will also be in the mix. Will Kuhl and Brault round out the group, or will one of them move to the bullpen? I’d give Brault a better shot at remaining in the rotation.

**Would you put Colin Moran or Josh Bell as the designated hitter in 2021?

**Should the Pirates try to upgrade over Jacob Stallings behind the plate, or just find backups and see how he handles a full season as a starter?

**Adam Frazier is the starter at second base, but will the lack of options in the outfield force a position change? The Pirates could go with Erik Gonzalez and Kevin Newman in the infield, allowing Frazier to move to left field, where their path to a starter isn’t as clear.

**Feliz, Rodriguez, Stratton, Crick, and maybe one of Kuhl or Brault will make up the bullpen. That still leaves a few spots remaining. I think the Pirates will be most active on the outside in this area. What internal options, from guys like Blake Cederlind, JT Brubaker, and other younger players, do you see fitting in the mix?

Check out our holiday gift ideas for the Pittsburgh Pirates fan in your life or for yourself.

PBN Card Packs

Each pack of cards will include:

  • 10 Cards Total
  • 7 Prospect Cards
  • 2 MLB Cards
  • 1 Rare Card
  • Bubblegum Not Included

Rare Cards Include:

  • Jameson Taillon Rookie Cards
  • Jameson Taillon Refractors and Inserts
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes Rookie Cards
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes Refractors and Inserts
  • Mitch Keller Rookie Cards
  • Mitch Keller Refractors and Inserts
  • Travis Swaggerty Rookie Cards
  • Travis Swaggerty Refractors and Inserts
  • Cole Tucker Rookie Cards
  • Cole Tucker Refractors and Inserts
  • Aaron Shortridge Rookie Cards (Small quantity with refractors included, only available on PBN via card packs)
  • Clay Holmes Rookie Cards (Card photo shot by Tim Williams of PBN, refractors included)
  • Refractors and Inserts of Quinn Priester, Sammy Siani, Deon Stafford, and other players!

Prospect Guide Updates

Last week we finalized the top 50 prospects for the 10th Anniversary Edition of the Prospect Guide. The final edits and roster moves are being made to the book now, and it will be sent to print at the start of December.

This has been a strange year for the Prospect Guide, especially regarding getting information on players during a year when there was no minor league baseball. Rather than releasing what we knew on each player at the end of last year, we worked to get new information on everyone in the top 50, and on as many other players as possible. The result will be the most comprehensive source of information on the Pirates’ farm system, with our exclusive rankings, grades, and reports on every player in the organization.

I know a lot of you have waited patiently for the book to be released. Our goal is to make sure you end up getting the best product possible, with as much information as we can get included.

The digital version of the book will be made available when the book is finalized. We’ll have some previews from inside the book in the next week, detailing some of the new changes to this year’s edition.

The Prospect Guide has always been a massive lifeforce for this site, while also being a key resource that we use to reference prospect grades and tools. I thank everyone who has purchased the book, and can’t wait to get this year’s copy to you!

The 2020 Prospect Guide returns to print for our tenth¬† we are releasing two variant covers, featuring Mitch Keller and Ke’Bryan Hayes. Visit our shop to order these extremely limited items!


First Pitch