Buster Olney continued his Major League rankings, going with the best outfields in baseball(subscription required) on Sunday. He ranked the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield as the second best in the Majors, trailing only the Florida Marlins. Olney said that the Pirates could have the best outfield in baseball next year if Gregory Polanco takes a step forward. That shouldn’t be difficult for Polanco, who had a great AAA season before coming up last year and starting off great with the Pirates, which was then followed by him going through a prolonged slump. The 22-year-old(turned 23 in Sept) right fielder finished with a .650 OPS in 89 games with the Pirates.
Olney praised Starling Marte for his second half surge after a rough start to his season and he said that Andrew McCutchen seemed to be a better overall player in 2014 than he was in 2013 when he won the National League MVP award. Besides offense, these three players provide the Pirates with one of the fastest(possibly the fastest) and best defensive outfields in baseball.
His earlier rankings had the Pirates among the best bullpens, lineups and rotations, plus near the top for their defense. Surprisingly, the infield group(which just got stronger with the addition of Jung Ho Kang) didn’t even get a mention among the 17 teams he listed.