Buster Olney continued his team position rankings on Thursday morning by naming the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the team with the top outfield in baseball(subscription required). Olney ranked both the Pirates’ rotation and bullpen in the top ten, giving them one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. They didn’t do so well with the infield ranking, not even getting a mention in the “just missed” group outside the top ten.
The trio of Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte got the best outfield group and Olney thinks they can be even better, as there is room for both Marte and Polanco to improve. Not to state the obvious, but Olney also called McCutchen one of the best players in baseball and noted that he is still in his prime. He called the group the backbone of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Last year, Olney ranked the Pirates as the second best outfield in baseball behind the Miami Marlins. The Marlins dropped down to third place this year.
The Cubs came in second in the rankings for outfielders after being named the best infield yesterday. They also did well in both the rotation rankings and the bullpen, finishing ahead of the Pirates in both groups. The Cardinals made all four lists as well. The outfield list in NL heavy, with seven teams making the top ten and the Rockies just missing.