Connect with us


Demilio: Five Pirates Predictions for 2023



Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

Happy Opening Day Eve, everyone. The Pittsburgh Pirates will be playing regular season baseball on Thursday when they kick off their 2023 season against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark.

Continuing our series of the staff here at Pittsburgh Baseball Now giving you our 2023 Pirates’ predictions, it’s now my turn.

Let’s dive in.

Andrew McCutchen Checks Off Several Career Milestones

My first prediction isn’t too bold, but it certainly will serve as a feel-good story — or several for that matter.

That McCutchen guy was pretty good with the Pirates when he called PNC Park home from 2009-17. He was an MVP, a five-time All-Star, a four-time Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove Recipient.

With a résumé as lengthy as that, it’s only natural that your career numbers would be approaching or already passing several notable benchmarks. For McCutchen he has the opportunity to check off several boxes in his return to the Pirates.

Among the milestones that McCutchen could realistically reach in 2023 include — 2,000 career games, 2,000 career hits, 300 home runs and 400 doubles. Additionally, McCutchen can continue to climb the franchise leaderboards.

Bryan Reynolds and Oneil Cruz Each Hit 30 Home Runs

Ok, now it’s time to get a little bit more daring. The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t had a player hit 30 home runs in a season since Josh Bell hit 37 in 2019. They haven’t had a pair of teammates with 30+ home runs each since McCutchen (31) and Pedro Alvarez (30) did so in 2012.

Over a decade later, Reynolds and Cruz will join the duo by both hitting at least 30 home runs this season.

In 2021, Reynolds recorded 24 homers before hitting a career-high 27 last season. He will again improve his mark by three and reach 30 home runs. Cruz hit 17 in only 87 games last season. This year, he will lead the team in the category and join Reynolds in the 30-homer club.

Bryan Reynolds Returns To The All-Star Game

Speaking of Reynolds, I’m predicting that he will be named a National League All-Star for the second time in his career.

Reynolds was a starter in the Midsummer Classic two years ago at Coors Field. Last year, David Bednar was the Pirates’ lone All-Star but this year it will be Reynolds again.

I’m also predicting that Reynolds will be the Pirates’ only player named to the National League’s roster this year. Other possibilities could include Bednar, Cruz, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Mitch Keller.

Ke’Bryan Hayes Wins Gold Glove

While we are handing out honors, Hayes will have a shiny trophy to put on his mantle in the form of the National League Gold Glove Award for third base.

That’s right, Hayes will finally put an end to Nolan Arenado’s streak of 10 straight Gold Glove wins.

To be honest, Hayes probably deserved to win the award last season, but Arenado was named the recipient nonetheless.

This year, Hayes’ stellar defense paired with his improved offense (wait, isn’t this a defensive award?) will be impossible to ignore and Hayes will do what may be seen as impossible in unseating Arenado.

The Pirates Select Dylan Crews With The First Pick Of The MLB Draft

My final prediction is an off-the-field one. Back in December, the Pirates won the first ever MLB Draft lottery and were awarded the first pick.

And with the first pick, in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates (will) select Dylan Crews, an outfielder from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

My advice to Ben Cherington? Don’t overthink it. Sure, there is a long way to go before the draft, but Crews is doing things that have simply been eye-opening with the Tigers. In taking Crews, the Pirates will be adding a premier talent to their farm system.


As a bonus, I will give you one final prediction. I have the Pirates finishing the season with a 73-89 record, good for fourth place in the National League Central and an 11-win improvement from 2022.

On Monday, Cody Potanko gave his five Pirates’ predictions while Griffin Floyd did the same on Tuesday. Check out their picks!

Subscribe Today!

Subscribe today!

PBN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.

Copyright © 2024 National Hockey Now. All rights reserved. In no way endorsed by the Pittsburgh Pirates or Major League Baseball.

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (PA/IL) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN only) or 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA only) or 1-800-522-4700 (CO Only) or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789.