The Pittsburgh Pirates, as woeful as they are in most other phases of the game, had the best starting outfield in the majors last season in Xavier Nady, Nate McLouth, and Jason Bay. And yet, despite dealing away all three of those players as well as defensive genius Nyjer Morgan in the span of less than one year’s time, the Pirates have not missed a beat.
Their new outfield seems nearly as good as before so far, with Garret Jones providing big-time power in left, Andrew McCutchen merchandising speed and defense in center, and Delwyn Young providing a .300 batting average and high OBP in right. Their OPS’s, respectively, are 1.118, .801, and .793 so far.
While this new trio is not quite as good as Nady/McLouth/Bay just yet, these three players are younger, and all three still have some upside left to go. I’m not sure if that upside will all pan out and necessarily translate into stardom for these guys, but it is pretty impressive how the Pirates keep churning out this sort of top-shelf outfield talent.
Now if only they had actually gotten more in return for trading away four of the better outfielders in the game…