Constructing the Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time Lineup
By Cody Potanko
Catcher – Jason Kendall
Many people will hound me over this selection for many reasons. Jason Kendall was not the nicest guy in the world and had a bad attitude at times, but the guy could flat out play ball.
Heralded as one of the most athletic catchers for his time, Kendall stole 140 bases as a Pirate as well as recording 352 extra base hits. Kendall was a three-time All-Star, in fact, his first All-Star appearance came in his rookie campaign where he finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
During his eight years in Pittsburgh, Kendall’s slash line read .306/.387/.418 with his best year statistically coming in 1998 when he had a wOBA of .390, a wRC+ of 136, a career-high in stolen bases with 26, and a WAR of 5.6.
Another great aspect of Kendall’s game was his plate discipline having never struck out more 79 times, and that came in his final all-star appearance in 2000. Like I said before, Kendall wasn’t the nicest guy especially to Jack Wilson or any other rookie, but from a pure, on-field perspective, Kendall belonged here. He also gave Pirate fans something worth watching during some of the worst seasons in franchise history.