With the advice of my Korean confidant Min Kim, I'm rolling with the new Three Studs, a Dud and a Sleeper for the team previews.
That way you get a little bit of everything for each squad.
Get everything you need to know about the Pirates after the jump...
Top 3 Pirates
Nate McLouth - OF
Being the best fantasy option on the Pirates is kind of like being the smartest kid in your class, but only if you've been held back a year.
Yet, McLouth turned some heads with a standout performance in 2008, showing off a very impressive combination of speed and power. Like I've stated previously, outfielders are a dime a dozen so I'd concentrate on building up a strong offensive infield before anything.
This is where McLouth could seriously help your ball club. Pick him up in the later rounds and relax knowing your center fielder is going to deliver twenty-something homers, steals and over 80 RBI.
Ryan Doumit - C
Tagged with the dreaded injury prone moniker for the first part of his career, Doumit shined during his first opportunity with the Pirates in 2008. He's the model of consistency and has the rare ability to hit for quality average and OPS (.318 AVG and .858 OPS in 2008) as the backstop for a questionable Pirates staff.
If you miss out on the big boys like Soto, Mauer, McCann or Martin, Ryan Doumit would be a very wise choice.
Matt Capps - RP
Selecting a closer in the draft is always a risky proposition.
Things fluctuate so much at this particular position and from year to year it always seems the top five are completely different.
In no way am I saying that Capps should be mentioned among the top five in the game, but he should bear monitoring later on in the draft if you're in need of a closer.
A sparkling 0.97 WHIP on a team as awful as the Pirates is something that should not be overlooked. Combine that with the fact that Capps missed two months due to injury and still finished with 21 saves on such a bad team, and you have reason enough to believe in this kid.
Freddy Sanchez - 2B
Sanchez suffered through his worst year as the starting second basemen for the Pirates in 2008. He posted his lowest AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS and BB totals since becoming a starter in 2005.
Things don't figure to get much better in 2009 for the 31-year-old second baseman who also tends to strike out much too often for a player that is known for contact.
Stay away, there are much better options out there.
Paul Maholm - SP
If there's one upside to playing for the Pirates, it's that you'll have plenty of time to develop. And Maholm has certainly been taking advantage of that time, becoming a prime candidate for a breakout season.
But again, temper your expectations a smidge because it is the Pirates behind him.
While his 2008 record doesn't do much to inspire much belief (9-9), Maholm did clear the 200 IP plateau and set career bests as a full time starter with R (89), ER (85), K (139) and ERA (3.71).
Look closer and you'll see that Maholm lost three games, in which he pitched at least seven innings while giving up a lone ER.
The talent is there, let's just hope the production comes along with it.