Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

SCOUTING REPORT [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

SCOUTING REPORT [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

How the Pirates and Reds stack up in seven key areas going into their game tonight at PNC Park:

Batting

The Reds have a powerful left-handed trio in the first half of their lineup with leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Votto's .435 on-base percentage and Choo's .423 mark help the club rank second in the National League in on-base percentage. That, in turn, helped the Reds score 4.31 runs per game, third in the NL. Their on-base plus slugging percentage when adjusted for ballpark, however, falls below average, while the Pirates are above average in the category. They have a power-speed threat in MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, who tied for the NL lead in home runs.

EDGE REDS

Infield

Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes has an ultimate zone rating of 8.9 this season, meaning he saved 8.9 runs more than the average shortstop. The Reds' Zack Cozart ranks behind him at 6.4, but still above average. Neil Walker saved nine runs above average compared to Brandon Phillips, an average defender. Phillips is also dealing with a sore left shin after fouling a ball off it Saturday. Pedro Alvarez made 27 errors this season, the most of anybody in the major leagues. Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, meanwhile, is an above- average fielder.

EDGE PIRATES

Outfield

The Pirates front office has often said they treat left field at PNC Park like a second center field because of its large dimensions. The tandem of Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, two of the fastest men in the majors, plays well there. Marte has a fantastic arm. The Reds, meanwhile, have Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick in the outfield corners. Both are slow, but Bruce and center fielder Shin- Soo Choo have great arms. Marlon Byrd has saved 12 runs above average in right field this season, a good portion of which was spent playing with the New York Mets at spacious Citi Field.

EDGE PIRATES

Catching

Russell Martin ranked ninth in the major leagues in defensive Wins Above Replacement this season and threw out more would-be base stealers than any catcher in the league, with 36. His 40.4 percent success rate ranked third in the majors, behind the Dodgers' A. …

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