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Pittsburgh Pirates Find Their New Center Fielder

Pittsburgh Pirates New Centerfielder
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The Pittsburgh Pirates’ new center fielder is Michael A. Taylor. They signed him to a $4 million deal, according to Jeff Passan, and the contract is for this year only. One of the best defensive center fielders in the game, Taylor should end up being their primary center fielder for the season.

Good Signing

This is a good signing for them. It gives them some flexibility to play matchups, as well as more outfield depth overall. It also gives them a top-of-the-line defensive center fielder, something they need. Taylor has been known as a true center fielder throughout his ten-year career. He could also fill in at the corner outfield spots when needed as part of a platoon.

Fills Other Needs

Taylor fills the other needs for this team as he is a right-handed hitter. He will also bring along speed both offensively and defensively. However, he is not an outstanding hitter but disciplined at the plate.

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He goes through phases where he strikes out quite a bit. But anytime he gets on base, his speed is an asset—he can turn a single into a double with his speed. He also has that speed to score from second on a hit to the outfield.

Quality Defensive Option

Taylor gives Pirates Manager Derek Shelton a quality defensive option. Taylor brings with him a Gold Glove and should enjoy playing defense at PNC Park. Fans will enjoy him running down a hard hit to the gap. He will even surprise them with his throwing arm.

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Changes for Jack Suwinski

Taylor’s signing creates some changes to the Pirates’ outfield. Suwinski, who served as the team’s primary center fielder last year, will most likely move to right field and platoon with the recently acquired Edward Olivares. Though he struggled some playing the center field position, Suwinski has offensive power, and the Pirates will want to keep him in the lineup.

Bryan Reynolds

Signing Taylor as the new center fielder means Reynolds will remain in left field. The player, popular with the fans, played some center field last year, but Taylor’s arrival most likely means no more playing there. When Reynolds needs a day off look for Olivares or Taylor to fill in.

Brings Leadership

Taylor also brings leadership to this club. Last season, the Pirates surprised everyone when they were 12 games above .500. However, they had an overall collapse due to injuries and slumps by both pitching and the offense. They also lacked veteran leadership and players who have been through the ups and downs of a losing streak and a slump and know how to work their way through them. Taylor is someone who can mentor the younger players.

Looking to Contend

The Pirates are looking to contend for a playoff spot, and adding Taylor only helps. He played on the 2019 Washington Nationals team that won the World Series, will only help. He brings not only his Gold Glove defensive talent; he knows what it takes to win. His veteran leadership is a plus that can only be a benefit to this team for 2024.

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Main Image Credit:
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