Buster Olney has been counting down various top ten lists in the majors, and finished yesterday with his top ten MLB teams. The Pirates were rated as the tenth best team, with Olney pointing out their strong core of Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte, Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, and Charlie Morton. The Pirates were the fifth best NL team on the list.
The Pirates rated highly in Olney's rankings for pitching and defense. They had the fifth best rotation, the fourth best bullpen, and the tenth best defense. The Pirates were contenders in 2013 largely due to their pitching and defense. Much of that has returned for the 2014 season.
One disclaimer to Olney's ratings is that they come about two months before Spring Training. The off-season is still incomplete, so things can change in all of the top ten lists. That said, the Pirates are still seen as a good team, even if they haven't made a big splash this off-season....
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.