Dan Szymborski has released his 2012 ZiPS Projections for the Pirates. ZiPS is one of my favorite projection systems, and one of the most accessible. Obviously, plenty of outcomes are possible for every player, but this is some of the best projecting available.
ZiPS projects that Pedro Alvarez will hit .245 with a .323 on-base percentage and 24 home runs. Those are hardly star-caliber numbers, but after last year's debacle, I could live with them. Alvarez is also one of several hitters (along with Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Alex Presley, Neil Walker and Garrett Jones) who are projected to be better than the league average, if only barely. Unfortunately, the Pirates' rotation doesn't fare nearly so well, with only Erik Bedard projected to have an ERA+ above 100. ZiPS thinks Charlie Morton and James McDonald will hold their own, but isn't too excited about Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia. Fortunately, the impending A.J. Burnett deal will likely eventually knock Correia out of the rotation. There's no Burnett projection, unfortunately.
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