Jack Wilson announced that he was retiring the other day, which should make any Pirate fan sad. He was the best shortstop we have had in a long time and at the time, most people never realized how fantastic his defense was. Watch this highlight reel:
How many times did the announcers get excited (especially opposing announcers) about a play he made? Also, how many times did they say something like “and he got ’em!”
After he left Pittsburgh, we saw how superior his defense was when we got to watch Ronny Cedeno. Clint Barmes is good, but still nowhere near Jack’s level. It is very scary when you watch Josh Harrison, Chase d’Arnaud, Jordy Mercer, or anyone else out there.
I went back to a bunch of my baseball posts on here and found different conversations between Offord and myself saying how much we wanted Wilson gone. Sadly, we really never knew how good his offense actually was (seriously, go read the WHYGAVS article I linked to above).
Look at his stats, I am pretty sure we would kill for some of his down years at this point…
|162 Game Avg.||162||578||67||153||29||4||7||50||5||.265||.306||.366||.671|
|PIT (9 yrs)||1159||4305||508||1158||217||32||60||389||36||.269||.311||.376||.687|
|SEA (3 yrs)||154||473||50||115||24||1||1||33||7||.243||.278||.304||.582|
|ATL (2 yrs)||57||112||7||21||2||1||0||4||0||.188||.207||.223||.430|
|NL (11 yrs)||1216||4417||515||1179||219||33||60||393||36||.267||.309||.372||.681|
|AL (3 yrs)||154||473||50||115||24||1||1||33||7||.243||.278||.304||.582|
Anyways, good luck to Mr. Wilson, maybe he will end up back with the Pirates as a fielding coach. Maybe he could help their minor league system. Oh wait, apparently they do not need it:
The Pirates’ minor league organization is ranked first in infield defensive efficiency, a measure of turning grounders into outs, and fourth in outfield defensive efficiency, a measure of turning flyballs into outs. The Pirates have struggled advancing baserunners, but the minor league organization ranks second among all teams in advancing runners from first to third. Stealing bases, as it is in the major leagues, is a struggle, which Huntington attributed to an emphasis on aggression.
Here is the article where Neal Huntington said this. Chris Mueller of 93.7 basically called NH out the other night for this being a made-up stat. I looked at every sabermetric site I could think of and could not find this stat as a team stat anywhere. The closest I could find was for major league teams, they have an overall defensive efficiency stat, but that is not the same. He called it ridiculous to think that NH has guys at every minor league game, charting every ball hit so that the Pirates can compare how their organization ranks against others.
I will go another route though. Maybe this statistic exists and teams can compare their organizations. Whatever, anything is possible, right? Here are a few problems I have:
-Is this the only organizational stat we can hang our hat on? I would rather NH say something like “our system ranked third in OBP and second in SLG.” That would give me some hope. Or how about “our pitchers had the best K/9 and lowest WHIP.” Again, these things would be great.
-At first glance, it seems like he is saying that we will be seeing smarter baserunning, but when you think about it, he is just saying that they are ranked second at moving guys from first to third. Does this actually mean we will not see so many idiotic baserunning mistakes when guys hit the majors?
-Combining all minor league teams seems a little odd to me as a way to compare them. How many teams have guys who could not cut it in the majors on their AAA rosters? They are there as filler, hell some of them do quite well in AAA, but they just never perform in the majors. They are not really being developed any longer and one would assume at this point, they are a little better with the mental aspect of the game. Maybe I am wrong on this one.