Center field: Gene Clines
Like Rennie Stennett, Gene Clines was a rookie during the 1971 campaign. Clines was your typical speedy center fielder who would hit for a high average. Through 300 plate appearances in 1971, Clines hit .308/.366/.339 with just a single home run, but 15 stolen bases.
The righty batter returned to the Bucs in ‘72 as the team’s fourth outfielder and did pretty well, having a .334/.369/.421 line and a dozen stolen bases. But that’s about as far as Gene’s success went. For the next two seasons, Clines hit .245/.317/.291 through his final 654 plate appearances in a Pirates’ uniform.
Clines was traded to the New York Mets following the conclusion of the ’74 season, and went on to play in New York for ‘75, the Texas Rangers during ‘76, and finished out his career with three seasons with the Chicago Cubs from ‘77-’79. Clines final career line consists of a .277/.329/.341 slash, an 88 OPS+, and 4.5 career bWAR.
After his playing career ended, Clines spent 15 seasons as a MLB coach.