Quite literally, hitting, pitching and fielding, in all of which the Pirates were dead last in '54. Much of the Pirates' weakness stems from plain inexperience: batters are fooled by the right pitch, runners take extra base at wrong time, pitchers lose poise with men on base.
Pirates are largely rookie and all hope. Brightest light is 20-year-old Gene Freese, .322-hitting second baseman last year with New Orleans. Others to keep an eye on: brother George Freese, 3b; Roberto Clemente, of; Dale Long, lb; speedballer Bill Bell, who pitched three no-hitters in 1952 for Class D Bristol team.
THE BIG IFS:
Hitting, pitching and fielding. But if team shakes down into a cohesive unit, it could stir up National League race.
Another training season for Pirate hopefuls, with seventh place as their aim.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]