First Pitch: More MLB Position Rankings

Yesterday we looked at position rankings from Fangraphs, which were based on their projections for the 2020 season. The Pittsburgh Pirates did poorly overall in the three spots we covered yesterday. They were 15th overall at second base, 17th at first base and 30th at third base. Today we add four more positions to the mix and things don’t get any better.

Fangraphs has Bryan Reynolds regressing a bit this year and the replacements when he’s not in the lineup don’t add any value. That leaves left field for the Pirates 25th overall.

Behind the plate, with Jacob Stallings as the main starter, the Pirates rank 21st overall. Combining Luke Maile and John Ryan Murphy, Fangraphs has Stallings getting just over half of the playing time.

At shortstop, the Pirates rank 28th overall. Kevin Newman will have some regression according to Fangraphs, while Cole Tucker will do slightly better in his limited time. JT Riddle and Erik Gonzalez also see some shortstop time.

In center field, Jarrod Dyson getting about half of the time leads to a 24th overall ranking. Fangraphs has Dyson getting 130 plate appearances, while five other players split 129 plate appearances, including some time from Bryan Reynolds and Guillermo Heredia.

Through seven of the eight positions, the Pirates rank in the 15-30 range for each one, with an average placement of 23rd overall.

**We will have at least four articles today, including the one you’re currently reading. If any news comes up or the live video feed from PNC Park, we will have more. The other scheduled articles for today are as follows:

This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History – Pirates trade Esteban Loaiza. Also, the birth date of outfielder Jerry Lynch.

Obscure Pittsburgh Pirates – A shortstop from long ago who almost got featured in our One Who Got Away series instead. He works for both articles. Here is the previous Obscure Pirates article, along with links to all of the others at the bottom of the article.

1979 Season Recap – Dave Parker shines in the All-Star game

Hope everyone has a fantastic Friday. Tomorrow is the first exhibition game and Opening Day is just seven days away.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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