With Andrew McCutchen being out of the Pirates clubhouse, it is time for Josh Bell to stand up and be the leader of this team as well as the face of the franchise.
Ever since Bell entered the league in 2016 he has been productive. He played in 45 games in 2016 with a .273/.368/.406 slash line. In his first full season as the Pirates starting first baseman, he slashed a .255/.334/.466 in 159 games played.
Bell recorded 140 hits, 26 home runs, 90 RBI, and 75 runs scored. This was a very productive season from the young, talented Bucco. Not to mention, that season he was making a transition to first base from the outfield and played a superb defensive role on the club.
Josh Bell showed extreme potential and skill in his first two years with the Pirates. He was a great minor league player as well and people knew he could be a staple in the major league lineup for years to come.
Bell, a switch hitter, has unimaginable raw power from both sides of the plate. There was at least three instances that he scorched a ball to the farthest part of PNC Park as a right-handed hitter, and that isn’t even his dominant side. He has the potential to hit 30-plus homers along with 100 RBI year in and year out.
With McCutchen out of the fold, that leaves Bell as being the next possible face of the franchise. It is time for someone else to take the reigns in that club house and become a leader. The Pirates are already a very young team and they have endless talent throughout the minor leagues.
This could possibly put a weight on Bell’s shoulders as he may try to carry the team to much. He very well could be the next big thing in Pittsburgh and he could help the Pirates return to the postseason much like McCutchen did in 2013 as a young star.