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Fantasy Baseball: Which Pirates Are For Real So Far?

Here's a quick look at the Pirates' top fantasy baseball performers this year, and what to expect from them going forward:

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2B Neil Walker: .345 average, two homers, eight RBIs. Walker is simply on a tear right now, and his 11 strikeouts and two walks demonstrate that he's taking hard cuts at everything - and, for the time being, mostly hitting the ball really hard. He can't keep this up, and he'll need to make adjustments once everything stops flying out of the park, but he has good power and is a legitimate starting option at second base.

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OF Andrew McCutchen: .318 average, two homers, five RBIs. It's too early to tell, but there's no reason McCutchen can't be in the midst of a breakout year. He's in his third season in the league, he does everything well offensively, and he's extremely athletic. He'll also steal plenty of bases for you before the year is out.

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3B Pedro Alvarez: .200 average, no homers, four RBIs. Don't panic. Alvarez is off to a terrible start, but he has a history of starting slowly and should begin destroying the ball once he makes adjustments. Until he does so, though, you might want to stash him on your bench.

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CL Joel Hanrahan: 4.1 innings, five strikeouts, four saves. Obviously, Hanrahan's ability to rack up saves depends upon the Pirates' ability to set up save situations for him, and his owners have been lucky that they've managed to do that four times in the first seven games. His pitching, though, has been hard to argue with - he has been throwing as hard as 99 MPH, and he'll rack up strikeouts for you even if the save numbers tail off a bit.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.