Pittsburgh Pirates Top Five Center Fielders
5. Al Oliver (1968-1977)
When Al Oliver was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a complicated four team trade involving the Rangers, Mets and Braves, he began wearing the number zero. He was, however, a lot more than that for the Rangers, and later, the Expos.
Yet, while Oliver became a four time All-Star after leaving Pittsburgh, he was still a solid player for the Pirates. Overall, Oliver produced a .296/.335/.454 batting line, hitting 135 home runs. Oliver made three All-Star games during his time with the Pirates, finishing seventh in the MVP ballot in both 1974 and 1976.
Defensively, Al Oliver became a center fielder after being in the majors for a couple of seasons, and it showed. He is considered to have cost the Pirates 16 runs during his time in center, and was generally below average in almost every metric in center. However, when he was converted to left, he became a standout defensive player.
Al Oliver may have gone on to further greatness with the Rangers and the Expos, but he was a solid player for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Even if he was not stellar defensively, he was still one of the better center fielders in Pirates history.
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