Over the off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates made two big upgrades in Bradenton. One of the upgrades was a new clubhouse at McKechnie Field, which is currently being finalized on the inside. The other upgrade was a new Performance Center at Pirate City.
I had never been in the old performance center — it is off-limits to media, and I never really had a need to ask for a special tour — but after seeing the new one, I was able to check out the old one. The difference is amazing. The size of the new center is like the size of a gym. The size of the old one is like the size of a yoga studio at a gym. To give an idea of the size of the center, the tiny-looking TV on the wall in the image below is an 80-inch TV.
The new center is 12,240 square feet, and is designed for year-round usage. In the past, players would go to IMG Academy to work out. Now there is enough room that they can work out at Pirate City. Honestly, after looking at the old center, this was long overdue. Here are a few more images of the new center, and two of the old. You can see more of a comparison in the video below.
Old Performance Center
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Anything to make the guys enjoy working out is what you want to see with these types of facilities – you want them to enjoy hanging out there. More nice upgrades to the team approach.