Originally posted on UmpBump.com  |  Last updated 8/16/12

Juan Pierre has, since he came into the league in 2000, been the sort of player who who will be praised by a certain type of fan or writer while being maligned by those that are, shall we say, differently inclined. The former camp will point out his base hits, the latter will focus on his lack of power. Some will look at his scrappy play, others the numbers that say his defense is overrated. Whatever your opinion of Pierre may be, his offensive profile is as predictable and consistent as it gets. Other players may see their batting average fluctuate wildly or produce the odd season with a spike in power, meanwhile Pierre keeps trucking on year after year.

Given his skillset, Pierre has to be hitting .290+ to be a useful contributer. Fortunately for his career that is one thing he has proven very adept at. .310, .327, .287, .305, .326, .276, .292, .293, .283, .308, .275, .279, .306. That’s Pierre’s batting average by year since he was called up by the Rockies.His value as a hitter is clearly all tied up in his average so any drop would likely have seen the end of his MLB career, however Pierre’s ability to keep hitting every year is impressive. The year’s where he dropped below the .290 or so batting average he was a poor major leaguer as his OBA and SLG numbers fell with it, but his ability to keep hitting, even when his declining foot speed made those valuable infield singles more difficult, is worth acknowledging.

My intention isn’t to make Pierre out to be some sort of under the radar MVP candidate – far from it. His two appearances in the MVP voting were likely a result of voters overrating batting average and raw stolen base totals. What is worth pointing out, is how a player with a skillset that could easily have collapsed as he entered his 30s has managed to continue to be a useful contributer in the big leagues. The Dodgers overvalued those attributes when they gave him $44 million over 5 years, leading to Pierre becoming a punchline at times. Just because a team experienced the perfect storm of miscasting Pierre and getting his two worst years at the plate, doesn’t take away from Pierre’s ability to maximise his baseball ability over his career.

In the right role Pierre is a nice player to have around. The Phllies may not be contending this year but their left fielder has done his job. Health is often an underrated skill for a player and Pierre’s ‘ability’ to avoid the disabled list has it’s own value. 2012 is also the best base stealing career of Pierre’s career. Often his big stolen base totals came packaged with a similarly high total of caught stealings; he led MLB in caught stealing in 2010 and 2011. This year he’s swiped 28 bags and been caught just 4 times. Pierre isn’t exactly rivaling Mike Trout in the excitement stakes, but it’s worth appreciating that he’s stayed around, and more importantly stayed useful, for this long.

 


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Rockets have 'serious chance' at landing Chris Paul

MotoGP qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix saw three frightening crashes Saturday

Report: Knicks attempted to move Joakim Noah with Kristaps Porzingis

Hornets GM mistakenly introduces Dwayne Bacon as Dwyane Wade

Three A's players knock first MLB homers in the same game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cuban-American businessman emerges as potential Marlins buyer

Charles Oakley: Kristaps Porzingis was ‘wrong’ to skip exit meeting

Ranking the toughest divisions in the NFL

Sixers already looking to extend Joel Embiid

WATCH: Klay Thompson fails miserably attempting a 360 dunk

Jays closer Roberto Osuna says he’s dealing with anxiety

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker