Tonight on MLB Network, they will wrap up their rankings of the top ten players at each position. At 9pm they will cover the catchers, followed by right fielders during the 10pm show. The Pirates have done very well in the first eight rankings, with seven players making the lists. They had two relievers last week(link includes all previous rankings), missing out only at shortstop and first base so far. Tonight we will see how Francisco Cervelli and Gregory Polanco stack up going into 2016, after both of them were left off last year’s lists.(results are below)
Cervelli played a career-high 130 games in 2015, hitting .295/.370/.401, while also displaying strong overall defense. If they believe that he can stay healthy again during the entire 2016 season, while putting up similar numbers, then Cervelli should rank fairly high.
Polanco hit .256/.320/.381 in his first full season, stealing 27 bases and playing strong defense in right field. His 13 outfield assists were second only to Starling Marte among NL outfielders last year. At age 24, Polanco still has upside and should rank in the top ten, depending on the strength of right field. Since the rankings are based on 2016 projections, he should do better than the stats from last season indicate.
We’re posting a discussion thread early so you get a chance to follow along with both shows and discuss the rankings, or you can just talk about anything Pirates related in the comment section. Results will be posted below as they are announced.
9:32 PM: Cervelli is ranked #4 by the Shredder, which is the computer ranking for the show. There will be more rankings from this show shortly.
9:45 PM: Bill James, Vince Gennaro, who is the president of SABR, and Mike Petriello, who is a baseball analyst for MLB.com, were the expert panelists on the show and all three submitted their own list. Brian Kenny and Dave Valle hosted the show and had their own list.
Valle didn’t rank Cervelli, as he said he isn’t sold after just one good season. He also pointed out the low caught stealing percentage(22%) for Cervelli.
Gennaro has him seventh, while Petriello agreed with the Shredder rankings, and has him fourth.
Bill James has Cervelli ranked tenth.
Brian Kenny has him ranked ninth, so he made five of the six lists, with an average ranking of seventh on those lists.
10:30 PM: Once they put out the list of names for right fielders, it was apparent that Polanco wouldn’t be in the top ten for the show. They mentioned that this is the deepest position in baseball. Looks like Polanco will have to step up his offense to be considered for next year’s list because they aren’t giving him credit for his possible potential. If the position wasn’t so deep, they might consider that “potential” angle, but there are too many good players ahead of him at this point. The Pirates finished with a total of eight players on the ten lists.