Buster Olney Ranks Pirates with Fourth Best Defense

By Jason Shetler

ESPN’s Buster Olney continued his Top 10 category rankings on Monday. His list this time consisted of the ten best defensive teams. The Pirates were mentioned in the Top 5 at #4. Only the Royals, Diamondbacks and Marlins were ranked higher. 

Starling Marte is a Gold Glove left fielder while Gregory Polanco provides above average defense in right field. Andrew McCutchen still has the great speed to track down balls in center. The subtraction of Pedro Alvarez at first base should help significantly. Because Neil Walker’s defensive metrics continue to decline, Josh Harrison should be an upgrade at second base. Jordy Mercer and Jung-Ho Kang are good defenders on the left side of the infield. Behind the plate, Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are both terrific pitch framers. Olney points out the Pirates aggressive infield shifting as a reason why he has them high on the list. 

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