The Pittsburgh Pirates were founded in 1882 and named the Pirates in 1891. They claimed their first NL Pennant in 1901 and retained it in '02, & '03 but without winning the World Series. They were able to claim their first World Series in 1909 and then took their second in 1925. The Pirates struggled in the post-war era, but won the 1960 World Series.
In the 1970's the Pirates became a dominant force. They won five of six NL East titles to start the decade, winning the World Series in 1971. They took another World Series title in 1979, their fifth as a franchise but it would also be their last. Pittsburgh have won their division just three more times since then, falling twice in game 7 of the NLCS. In more recent times they claimed three consecutive wild cards from 2013-'15 but got into the LDS just once and lost that series 3-2. Can you take over the franchise and return it to glory? Can you help them to a sixth World Series title?
MLB The Show 19 doesn't provide a singular team OVR like other sports games, instead you get a ranking within the league. This has a positive as it makes it far easier to see immediately just how good a team is within the league, but the negative is that you can't see the exact gap between the 12th and 13th team.
The Pittsburgh Pirates come into Franchise Mode ranked 20th. This ranking is powered by their 10th place in contact and 10th place pitching. There are some negatives in the roster though. The Pirates rank dead last in power and 24th in defense, while their speed comes in 23rd.
Financially the Pirates are very much on the back foot. Their team budget of $97.5 million is one of the smallest in The Show 19 and is more than half the biggest in the National League. This puts you in a serious bind when it comes to adding free agents and retaining impressive players within your roster. Who are the players you should be trying to build around?
Felipe Vazquez, Closing Pitcher (91 OVR)
Contract: 3 years/$16.8 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Changeup, Curveball, Slider
Best Stats: Break (94), Velocity (94), H/9 (87), K/9 (85), Clutch (81), Control (79), HR/9 (78)
Felipe Vazquez signed as an international free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. In 2014 he was traded to Washington and he made his MLB debut with them in 2015, pitching 48.1 innings with a 2.79 ERA. In 2016 he got a mid-season trade to Pittsburgh and became their closer in 2017, pitching 75.1 innings with a 1.67 ERA, 88 strikeouts, and 21 saves. In 2018 he put up 37 saves in 70 innings with a 2.70 ERA.
In The Show 19 Vazquez has a terrific break (94) and velocity (94) combo. His control (79) is good and he is strong in the clutch (81). Vazquez can limit hits (87) and rack up strikeouts (85) too.
Starling Marte, Center Field (89 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$5.2 million
Secondary Position: LF, RF
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Baserunning Aggressiveness (97), Durability (89), Arm Strength (89), Clutch (88), Contact vs R (86), Arm Accuracy (84), Stealing (84)
Starling Marte signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007 and made his MLB debut with them in 2012, playing 47 games and hitting 5 homers with a .257 average. In 2013 he was an everyday player and his .280 with 12 homers and 41 steals. Marte has been around there every season since, and is a career .284 hitter with 214 steals to his name and has hit 20 homers in just one season.
In The Show 19 Marte has good speed (81) and stealing ability (84), along with a strong arm (89) and quality ability in the clutch (88). He brings strong contact skill against righties (86) and nice fielding (73) too.
Chris Archer, Starting Pitcher (85 OVR)
Contract: 2 years/$8.5 million
Pitches: Slider, 4-Seam Fastball, 2-Seam Fastball, Changeup
Best Stats: Velocity (86), Stamina (85), Break (83), K/9 (77), Control (77), Clutch (70)
Chris Archer was a fifth-round pick for the Cleveland Indians in 2006 but was traded to Tampa Bay in 2011 and made his MLB debut with them in 2012, pitching just 29.1 innings with a 4.60 ERA. In 2013 Archer made 23 starts for the Rays, posting a 3.22 ERA in 128.2 innings. In 2015 he had his first 200+ inning season and put up 252 strikeouts to go with it as he made his first All-Star appearance too. In 2018 Archer was traded to Pittsburgh.
In The Show 19 Archer has good stamina (85) and a nice combination of velocity (86) and break (83). He can rack up strikeouts (77) and has really good control (77) too. He struggles to field his position (42) and can be homer-prone (56).
Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Roster
There can be some fluctuations in player OVR between saves in MLB The Show 19. However, the underlying stats for players are consistent. We'll start our look at the Pirates roster with the position players and then the pitchers.
|Player||OVR||Age||Position||Bat Hand||Best Contact||Best Power||Fielding||Speed|
|Starling Marte||89||30||CF||R||86 (R)||50 (R)||73||81|
|Corey Dickerson||82||29||LF||L||76 (L)||68 (R)||77||61|
|Francisco Cervelli||82||33||C||R||70 (R)||58 (L)||59||29|
|Gregory Polanco||80||27||RF||L||64 (R)||65 (R)||63||62|
|Adam Frazier||77||27||2B||L||77 (R)||50 (R)||64||53|
|Josh Bell||75||26||1B||S||67 (R)||56 (R/L)||61||50|
|Elias Diaz||73||28||C||R||72 (L)||49 (L)||57||42|
|Kevin Kramer||73||25||2B||L||64 (R)||54 (R)||68||37|
|Melky Cabrera||73||34||RF||S||82 (L)||51 (L)||53||32|
|Colin Moran||72||26||3B||L||77 (R)||51 (R)||50||20|
|Lonnie Chisenhall||71||30||RF||L||71 (R)||52 (R)||55||40|
|Kevin Newman||67||25||2B||R||62 (L)||27 (L)||70||79|
|Erik Gonzalez||66||27||SS||R||63 (R)||41 (R/L)||61||56|
The Pirates MLB roster comprises of 13 position players and 12 pitchers. That is your 8-man starting lineup with a 5-man bench, and a 5-man rotation and a 7-man bullpen including your closer.
The bulk of the offense will come from Starling Marte (clutch 88, contact R 86), Corey Dickerson (contact L 76, contact R 71), and Adam Frazier (contact R 77, contact L 76). As you can see though, there is little power to be had. That trio will be supported by Gregory Polanco (discipline 70, power R 65), Melky Cabrera (contact L 82, contact R 72), and Colin Moran (contact R 77, vision 70). Offense will be tough to produce consistently without power in the lineup though, it will have to come from stringing hits together.
In the field Corey Dickerson (fielding 77) is your best glove, but Starling Marte (fielding 73) and Kevin Newman (fielding 70) can hold their own too.
The starting rotation is anchored by the strong 1-2 punch of Chris Archer (velocity 86, stamina 85) and Jameson Taillon (velocity 88, stamina 83). Neither will challenge for the Cy Young but both are solid arms that can really do damage to opposing lineups. Trevor Williams (break 84, stamina 78) is a solid #3 in the rotation, while Joe Musgrove (control 89, break 78) and Chad Kuhl (velocity 98, break 84). It's a nice rotation but there is certainly room for improvement. These 5 are also all right-handed which is something you could look to change too.
The bullpen is pretty strong. Felipe Vazquez (velocity 94, break 94) is waiting to close out games and there are several pitchers capable of bridging from the starter to Vazquez. Kyle Crick (break 97, velocity 93), Richard Rodriguez (break 87, velocity 83) and Keone Kela (break 99, velocity 90) are all able to breeze through an inning, as can Edgar Santana (velocity 93, break 89). Michael Feliz (velocity 82, break 79) is a bit more of an innings eater while Tyler Lyons (break 99, control 74) is the long man in the bullpen.
The Show 19 has 4 lineups for you to set. These are against right-handed starters with and without the DH and against left-handed starters with and without the DH. The game does preset these lineups for you. As the Pirates are in the National League most of their games will be played without the DH.
Against righties without the DH The Show 19 will put CF Starling Marte at the top of the order, followed by 3B Colin Moran and 2B Adam Frazier. LF Corey Dickerson hits #4, with C Francisco Cervelli next and then RF Gregory Polanco, 1B Josh Bell, and finally SS Kevin Kramer. With the DH Lonnie Chisenhall comes in and hits #8.
Against lefties without the DH Melky Cabrera plays RF and hits#2 as Colin Moran falls all the way to #7, otherwise the lineup is unchanged. With the DH Lonnie Chisenhall comes in and hits #6.
These lineups are ok, but we can certainly improve on them.
Against righties without the DH we have left Marte in the lead-off spot but promoted Frazier and Dickerson up and dropped Moran to #4. Polanco and Cervelli follow, with Bell and Kramer rounding out the lineup. With the DH Chisenhall still comes into to #8.
Against lefties we promote Melky Cabrera and his 82 contact vs lefties to #1. Frazier and Dickerson move to #2 & #3, with Marte coming in at #4. Cervelli hits next, followed by Bell, Moran, and Kramer. With the DH Polanco will come back into the field and allow Cabrera to use the DH spot, Polanco will hit #4 with Marte hitting #6.
MLB The Show 19 can have a frustrating farm system. The OVR fluctuations affect Minor League players too, and also their potential which greatly affects how they will develop. Some real life prospects are also missing from the game. There are still some useful prospects in the Pirates farm system though.
Juan Chavez, Starting Pitcher (71 OVR)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball, Splitter
Best Stats: Velocity (79), Stamina (78), Break (76), Arm Strength (75), H/9 (67)
Juan Chavez is an exciting prospect for the Pirates rotation. He has good stamina (78) already and nice velocity (79) and break (76) too. He brings a 5-pitch arsenal that includes a splitter that will be nicely disguised by fastballs and changeups. His issue right now is poor control (41) but that will come with time.
Gavin Sierra, Relief Pitcher (67 OVR)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Curveball, 2-Seam Fastball, Slider
Best Stats: Velocity (99), H/9 (73), Break (60), Control (50)
Gavin Sierra is just a teenager but he already has elite velocity (99). That fact along makes him a tantalizing prospect, but he isn't quite MLB ready. His break (60) needs work and his control is shaky (50). With a little more seasoning Sierra should be a terrific bullpen option for the Pirates though.
Mark Spillane, Third Base (65 OVR)
Secondary Position: 1B
Hitter Tendency: Opposite
Best Stats: Fielding (79), Reaction (78), Power vs L (73), Power vs R (69), Speed (59), Stealing (58)
With power being so lacking for the Pirates any prospect that can hit home runs is welcome. Mark Spillane boasts nice power ability (69/73) and can field (79) his position too. Behind all that Spillane is lacking though. His vision (39) and discipline (28) at the plate is poor and his arm talent is not good (arm strength 35, arm accuracy 29). However, some more time in the Minors could certainly improve his ability at the plate and that will make him a legitimate option at first base to bring some more power to the lineup.