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Pirates Analysis

Pirates Home Run Numbers Have Been Much Improved So Far This Season



Last year, the Pirates scuffled to an abysmal 61-101 finish, good for last place in the National League Central. A big reason as to why the Bucs struggled so much in 2021 was their poor offensive numbers, specifically in the power department. The struggles at the plate led to a change in hitting coach this past offseason, as the club hired former Brewers hitting coach Andy Haines.

the Pirates finished the year dead last among all 30 teams in homeruns with 124, 20 less than any other team. The team’s .364 slugging percentage was also comfortably last in the Majors, as was their ISO (.128).

In fact, the Pirates have only finished outside the bottom five teams in homers only once the past seven seasons and haven’t been in the top half of the league in homers since they finished with the sixth-most as a team in 2014 (156).

This year, however, the power numbers are improving, and so far have been respectable. After slugging three solo shots in their 4-3 loss to the Rays, Pittsburgh now has 70 homers through their first 70 games, tied for 17th in the Major Leagues.

Their current pace of 162 homeruns on the year would be good for their second most in a single season since 2012.

So far this season, Bryan Reynolds leads the club with 12 homers, and he is on pace to set a new career-high in the long ball department.

Outfielder Jack Suwinski leads all rookies with 11 homers on the season, capped off by an exciting three-homer performance on Father’s Day that also included a walk-off shot over the Clemente Wall.

Michael Chavis and Daniel Vogelbach, who are both in their first full season with the Bucs, have each added eight homers and have provided a boost to the lineup for most of the season.

As the season goes on, there is reason to believe that the Pirates can continue their current trend of leaving the yard. Top prospect Oneil Cruz is presumably here to stay with the big league club, and he has more raw power than anyone on the roster. Players such as Ke’Bryan Hayes, Diego Castillo and some others are seemingly finding their power stroke as the season marches on towards the halfway point.

The Bucs currently sit at 28th in the league in both batting average and on-base percentage, so the current trend might need to continue if the Bucs want to have success offensively.

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