Originally posted on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 6/8/12

I have this tendency to think that I know what the hypothetical Successful Pittsburgh Pirates of the Future will look like. I'm hardly alone in this, of course, but it's very true. For a long time, the basic assumption by me and others has been that the Successful Future Pirates will be something like the Tampa Bay Rays, just an overflowing pipeline of talent that self-replenishes as veteran players begin to move on. Of course this is what we all want to see; Tampa's run by the smartest guys in the room, they make the best moves, and they've consistently had one of baseball's best teams despite poor attendance and low payrolls and their existence in the AL East. 

This Pirate team does not look like the Tampa Bay Rays. They're an assortment of underrated pitching castoffs, once mediocre players past their prime, middling young players that may or may not ever have a prime, and Andrew McCutchen. Early in the season, when they couldn't hit all, they looked very, very bad despite a decent record. These last two weeks or so, with the offense perking up, they suddenly look quite good. We're only through 56 games so far; they could be either of those two things or they (more likely) will fall somewhere in between. 

The point, though, is that I have a tendency to occasionally dismiss this team because they don't fit my vision of the Successful Future Pirates. A lot of this team's success and failure is tied up in the Barajases and Barmeses and Burnetts and Bedards that really have very little to do with the Future Pittsburgh Pirates. Probably too much of their success, to be honest.

But here we are. It's June 8th, the Pirates have torn through the NL Central in the last 12 games, they've got a plenty nice interleague matchup with the Royals directly in front of them, they're two games above .500, and they're in the thick of the NL Central and NL wild card races. I know that some of the prospect development has been depressing this year and I know that guys like Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker have been hugely disappointing and that absolutely none of this is good news for the Pirates. But if they find a way to sweep the Royals this weekend? Yeah, I'm going to go nuts. 

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