At the major league level, the Pirates are displaying a glimmer of hope for the long-suffering fans. The “Core Four” of Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, and Pedro Alvarez are off to good starts in their careers and have started off 2011 fairly well. Most observers of the team would agree, though, that the Pirates most pressing needs are starting pitching and shortstop.
Shortstop is a notoriously difficult position to fill, as it is the most demanding from a defensive position and is home to many "great glove/no hit" types. It is a very rare bird that can field their position and contribute offensively. For this reason, many teams covet their shortstop stock greatly and are hesitant to part with any potential asset. But let’s look around the minors for players that may project to be better both offensively and defensively than the Pirates leading in-house contender at shortstop, Chase d’Arnaud.