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Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Team Preview - Pittsburgh Pirates

Jason's Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Team Preview - Pittsburgh Pirates

March 14, 2014

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Team Preview - Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates took everybody by surprise last year, but they will not sneak up on anybody this year. The Pirates lost more in free agency than they gained and that does not bode well for a team in a very tough division. It is looking like this will be a tough season for the Pirates and that means there fantasy value will also take a hit. It seems like several players on the Pirates played over their heads last year and that means there will be several fantasy dissappointments on the Pirates' roster this season.

Can't Miss Picks: Andrew McCutchen is the leader of this team and he has now become one of the best fantasy options in all of baseball. McCutchen has become a lock for a 20/20 stat line with a .300+ batting average and that is why fantasy owners have bumped him up to a top 5 pick on draft day. The Pirates may have a hard time reproducing last year's success, but there is no reason to believe McCutchen cannot produce another year of MVP numbers.

Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Team Preview - Pittsburgh Pirates

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sleepers and Value Picks: Gerrit Cole was part of the outstanding rookie class that emerged last year, and as such, he is being undervalued in fantasy drafts this spring. Cole went 10-7 last year with a 3.22 ERA in 19 games last season. Cole was even better in the postseason as he posted a 2.45 ERA is his two playoff starts. Cole proved he can pitch with lots of pressure last year, and he should be ready to endure the long regular season. Cole is a solid mid round pick for fantasy owners who plan on waiting to fill their pitching spots.

Breakouts: Jose Tabata fits the bill for a breakout candidate from the Pirates in 2014. Tabata's skill set is similar to Starling Marte's who had a breakout season last year. Tabata was able to get on base and hit for a high average all through his minor league career, and he showed signs of being able to put it all together last season. Since the Pirates lost more this offseason than they gained, they are going to need Tabata to step up and be productive on offense. It is hard to recommend drafting Tabata even with a late round pick, but he does has the potential to earn his way onto fantasy rosters as the season progresses.

Busts: Starling Marte and Francisco Liriano are two players that are being overvalued heading into the 2014 season. Liriano was very good last year, but his track record is the definition of inconsistancy. Liriano is coming off a career year, and eventhough he is being drafted as the 40th pitcher, that price is still too high for such an inconsitant player coming off a career. Marte on the other hand is a player that had a breakout season, and now he is being drafted over other outfielders with higher ceilings. Marte is a solid player that can produce 35+ steals and double digit homers, but a 5th round price tag is a bit steep for that type of production considering the big named outfielders that are being drafted after Marte in fantasy drafts.

Bounce Back Candidates: Gaby Sanchez looked like he was on the verge of becoming a very good first baseman after his first full season where he hit .273 with 19 home runs and 85 RBI for the Marlins in 2010. Unfortunalty for Sanchez, he has not been able to duplicate that type of production, but now he could be given the chance to be an everyday first baseman for the Pirates. Sanchez is not a top sleeper pick by any stretch, but there is a chance that he could have a bounce back season if everything goes right for him.

For Fantasy Baseball Updates and Insights follow Jason on Twitter @TheSuperCommish

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