Five Fearless Pirates Predictions for 2023

2-22-23 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

I like doing these every year. Some of them get us talking, some come true, some turn into freezing cold takes, but it’s nice to take a crack at calling your shot sometimes.

Lets have some fun and I’d love you to give me your predictions too!

1. Bryan Reynolds & the Pirates Will Get an Extension Done

Hey, start big right?

These two aren’t nearly as far apart as we think. Yes, yes, 50 million dollars, but his side also wanted 2 more years than were offered. That means when it comes to AAV, it’s not nearly that bad.

I’ll call it now. 7 years, 108 Million dollars with a mutual option for an 8th year.

There’s just too much agreement here, too many open mentions of how much they both want to get it done. The team will quickly put their hurt feelings about Bryan’s rep behind them, and Bryan will move past feeling slighted.

2. Colin Selby Will be a Back of the Bullpen Fixture by Season’s End

The Bucs have a lot of relievers to use this year, but the one I’m most excited to see is Colin Selby. Flamethrower, and this year I think he’ll see about 40 innings in the Bigs and will post a WHIP of 1.25 or under.

There’s a lot to like about this bullpen, but one of the things I like the best is the young options they have who probably won’t even make it out of Spring. That depth will serve them well, and if I’m right here, some of that depth will help fill out the bullpen in 2024.

3. The Pirates Will Trade JT Brubaker at the Deadline

With two years of arbitration left, and what I see as enough of a track record to prove he’s a back end of the rotation MLB pitcher, JT will have value on the market, and teams already started inquiring last year.

Up and comers like Johan Oviedo, Mike Burrows, and Luis Ortiz will all push for a place to pitch, and they might be pushed by Priester, Mlodzinski and Kranick. At some point, JT is either going to get pushed to the pen, which also has a healthy number of players competing, or get squeezed out of the picture.

Perhaps the deadline this year would be premature as they could also look to move Velasquez and Hill, but Brubaker might actually return something of value.

I’m a JT fan, love his stuff, but looking at the landscape, it just feels inevitable he’s going to get pushed aside, so I think they’ll be proactive here, especially since they’ve ridden him hard for 3 years now.

4. Ke’Bryan Hayes Will Win the Gold Glove this Year

Yes, I know Nolan Arenado is still alive. And yes, I know this is probably cheating since Hayes already put up Gold Glove numbers last year, by any measurable statistic. Here’s the thing though, he’ll be doing it on a better team this year, I believe he’ll cut down the error number, and, take a deep breath, I think he’ll hit.

Hitting shouldn’t have much to do with this award, but we all know it does. Ke’Bryan will at least hit better enough to get over the hump and take home the hardware this time.

I’ll go even further, it’ll be the first of many. If Gold Glove voters love one thing it’s putting a player on a pedestal and making it damn near impossible to knock him off. I think we’ll see Hayes reach that starting this year.

5. Rodolfo Castro Will Hit 20 Homeruns

There were plenty of growing pains last year with Castro, from the phone on the field, to simply choosing to throw to the wrong base situationally. From free swinging, to not swinging enough. But overall, Rodolfo laid a foundation that will make him one of the more exciting development success stories the Pirates have had.

His defense will improve at 2B, and regular at bats will lead to consistency at the plate. He’s going to hit for power, and he’ll do it from both sides of the plate, allowing him to take advantage of ballpark dimensions all over the league as well as at home.

In fact, I think Castro will do enough to have some wondering what Nick Gonzales might have to do to make this team and stick, more importantly, where he might have to move.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

4 thoughts on “Five Fearless Pirates Predictions for 2023

  1. I think this prediction is spot on. It makes sense that the two sides are closer than we think, and 7 years for 108 million with a mutual option for an 8th year would be a great deal for all parties involved. It would be nice to see Bryan Reynolds and the Pirates come to an agreement and for him to stay in Pittsburgh for the long term. Have there been any recent updates/news on this front that would suggest that a deal is imminent?

    Liked by 1 person

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