Pittsburgh Pirates Top Five Shortstops
By David Hill
3. Jay Bell (1989-1996)
I’ll be honest – when thinking of the shortstops that would have made this list, Jay Bell did not come to mind. I remembered him with the Pirates and knew he was a decent player, but he really exploded offensively when he went to Kansas City and Arizona. Turns out that I was mistaken.
During his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bell posted a solid .269/.339/.402 batting line, hitting 78 home runs and 233 doubles. However, Bell had a truly special 1993 season, when he produced a .310/.392/.437 batting line. While he hit only nine home runs that season, Bell had a career high 16 stolen bases and 187 hits, earning an All-Star nod, a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove. He truly had an excellent all around season that year.
On defense, Jay Bell was much better than I remembered as well. He was consistently among the league leaders in virtually every defensive category, leading the National League in assists at short five times and putouts three times. Unsurprisingly, he was one of the leaders in range factor virtually every season during his time in Pittsburgh.
Jay Bell may have slipped under the radar for quite a few people. He was certainly much better than I remembered.
Next: An All-Time Great, but not the best Pirates shortstop