Pittsburgh Pirates: All Time ”Flash in the Pan” Team

9 of 11

Outfield: Nate McLouth

Let me take you back to June 4th, 2009, the date the Pirates traded Nate McLouth. The city went unscrewed with rage, and to this day, I don’t fully understand why they did it.

From 2005-2007, Nate McLouth was a ”meh” player. Nate did have a decent statistical campaign in 2007, but hitting .258 with 13 home runs doesn’t exactly scream ”super duper star”. In 2008, McLouth had the best year of his career, finishing with a .276/.356/.497 line with 26 Bombs, 94 RBI, 23 stolen bases and a Gold Glove to go with it. McLouth had a great year, but here’s the problem: it was just one year

McLouth started the 2009 season hitting .256 with nine dingers and 34 RBI. Neil Huntington, figuring that A. The Pirates stunk, and B. McLouth’s trade value was only going to go south from here, sent McLouth to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, and Gorkys Hernandez. As mentioned before, the city erupted in rage, and while I understand some of where the fans were coming from (I was one of them; I was also 11), a lot of the fan reaction still bothers me as we are approaching the 7-year anniversary of this deal. McLouth was a decent player who was a star for a brief time, and that was really about it. I’ve never met Nate McLouth, so I can’t tell you how he is off the field, but I know he didn’t endear himself with his personality the way Jack Wilson did. He wasn’t a perennial star like Jason Bay was, and he wasn’t born in the area like Neil Walker was.

The hostility of the fans also exposed how narrow-minded of a fanbase the Pittsburgh Pirates had in 2009. If we knew our baseball, we would have known that A. McLouth wasn’t a special player and B. The Bucs had a blue chip prospect in AAA who played the very same position as Nate McLouth.

But hey, we wouldn’t hear much about that guy, would we?