We are all actively learning the importance of stocking up on things we need. When this all kicked up, were you as surprised as I was that toilet paper became as precious as currency?
I thought it might be fun to come up with a shopping list if you will for the Pirates to prepare for when baseball does come back and indeed the future.
10. Power Bats. One thing the Pirates desperately lack organizationally is power. Mason Martin and Oneil Cruz represent the two best looking options for that element.
9. Coaching That Understands Speed. The Pirates have an abundance of speed in the system. Swaggerty, Oliva, Madris, Bae, to name a few. Speed is clearly going to be part of the club in the future and coaching a team like that is different. Maybe they already have the right people in place, if not, better get on it.
8. Build Around Power Arms. This begins and ends with Quinn Priester. He can’t be left to be the one great hope. Maybe Malone is the second half of the equation. Far too often the Bucs have lacked more than one option as the future ace.
7. Extensions. Identify, and execute extensions of key players. Sounds kinda simple doesn’t it? Nothing could be further from the truth. Make a mistake here and you have another Jose Tabata.
6. Positional Excellence. This Spring, the Pirates instituted a catching program designed to focus on and improve upon all aspects of receiving the baseball. Another example was developing a new throwing motion for Josh Bell and all first basemen at that to guide them toward proper technique. More of this please.
5. Catching Depth. Like the moves or don’t the Pirates met the imminent need and brought in competent catchers to back up Jacob Stallings. Next step is developing some of their own.
4. Fundamentally Focused Growth. Players that make it often have done so on raw talent; MLB is not the place to learn that isn’t often enough. A team full of Yasiel Puig’s wouldn’t get very far.
3. ]Add Even More to the Analytics Team. Ben’s first pass at improving the infrastructure was a great start, but it will need to improve, and they will need to work out the kinks in implementation.
2. Credibility. This means so much, and here is where it matters most. Signing players for solid money, will build credibility with agents. Signing free agents beyond the Dyson level will open eyes in the league. So much happens when you get this key aspect built up to where it belongs.
1. Major League Budget. When the core matures, and it’s time to spend, they must make good on their promises. So, what they should be stocking now is all the money they aren’t spending.
What do you think? What did I miss? Let’s have a fun discussion on what the Pirates need to stock up on most.