Pittsburgh Pirates Have Bright Future: Paul Skenes Hype Legit

USATSI 23526139 168394189 lowres
USATSI 23526139 168394189 lowres

The Pittsburgh Pirates may not be contenders to win the World Series this year.

However, they have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs and have a very bright future.

As of June 17, Pittsburgh is three games back from .500.

They are in the race for a wild-card spot, along with numerous teams in the NL.

Only two teams are more than two games back from a wild-card spot in the NL, as of June 17.

It will be a race all season to make the playoffs but the Pirates are in the thick of it.

It is too early to think the Pirates are a World Series contender this season.

However, they will be much sooner than later.

Pittsburgh is a contender for a playoff spot and given their young pitchers, they can make a push in a bunched NL.

Paul Skenes is the real deal and he has looked as good as advertised.

He is already the best pitcher the Pirates have and looks like he will be a star for years in the league, barring a significant injury.

Below, we discuss whether the Pittsburgh Pirates can make the playoffs this season and how long it will take for them to be considered contenders to win the World Series.

Can The Pittsburgh Pirates Make The Playoffs This Season?

Currently, Seven teams outside of a wild-card spot are less than two games back from a playoff position.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of those teams in the hunt for a wild-card spot.

Pittsburgh is eight games back from the Milwaukee Brewers for first in the NL Central.

It is looking like the best path to make the postseason is via a wild-card spot.

Paul Skenes was brought up to the majors and made his MLB debut on May 11.

He has started six games and has a 2.43 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 46/6 K/BB ratio.

Skenes has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his six starts.

He has struck out seven or more batters in five of six starts.

Skenes is only 22 years old and it is scary to think he will just get better and better.

Another 22-year-old pitcher the Pirates have is Jared Jones.

Jones has started in 14 games this season and has a 3.76 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and an 85/22 K/BB ratio.

Skenes and Jones both have very bright futures.

Skenes looks like he will be a star in the league for years.

Pittsburgh’s pitching will allow them to be in contention to make the playoffs this season.

However, their offense could hinder their chances of making the playoffs.

Currently, they are in the bottom 10 in the league in runs, home runs, batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS.

For the Pirates to make the playoffs, they will need their offense to improve.

They have some talent on offense with O’Neil Cruz and Bryan Reynolds.

Still, the Pirates need some more power and reliable bats in the lineup.

Given their starting pitchers and some talented bats on offense, the Pirates have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs this season as a wild-card team.

How Long Will It Take For The Pirates To Be Considered World Series Contenders?

This will depend on two things. whether Paul Skenes and Jared Jones can remain healthy and avoid serious injuries and what the Pirates do to improve their offense.

If Skenes and Jones can avoid serious injuries, they have incredible potential to be arguably the top two starting pitcher combinations in the league.

Skenes looks like he will be the league’s top pitcher sooner than later.

Jones looks like he will be a terrific number-two option in the rotation.

Jones is 22 and will be 23 in August while Skenes just turned 22 years old.

If they can remain healthy, the Pirates will have a top starting pitcher rotation for years to come.

This leaves the rest up to what the organization does to help improve the offense.

O’Neil Cruz and Bryan Reynolds are two very good bats but the Pirates need more and need Cruz to still improve.

Cruz hits the ball as hard as almost anyone in the league but is hitting just .251 on the season.

He still has not been able to figure out how to hit left-handed pitchers, hitting just .115 against lefties while hitting .298 against righties this year.

Cruz strikes out at a high rate, 32.6% of the time.

If Cruz can improve his strikeout rate and figure out how to hit lefties, and the Pirates add a reliable bat or two, the Pirates should be considered World Series contenders in one or two years.

This year will be too much to ask for a World Series push but a playoff push for the Pirates is well within reach.

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