Top Five Catchers in Pittsburgh Pirates History

facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 6
Next
UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1960: Smoky Burgess #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for this photo before a Major League Baseball game circa 1960. Burgess played for the Pirates from 1959-64. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1960: Smoky Burgess #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for this photo before a Major League Baseball game circa 1960. Burgess played for the Pirates from 1959-64. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Number 4 – Smoky Burgess

Smoky Burgess was an All-Star caliber catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played with the Pirates from the late 1950’s through the early 1960’s.

Burgess made four different All-Star Games with Pittsburgh, and for a good reason. Burgess batted .296/.352/.445 in his 2,029 plate appearances with the Pirates. He also hit 51 home runs, and had outstanding pitch recognition. Burgess struck out only 4.5% of the time and walked 8.1% of the time.

Burgess posted a 116 OPS+ during his time as a Pirate, and a wRC+ of 113.  Both are very good marks, as those are the equivalent today of a Francisco Lindor or Corey Seager type batter.

Burgess was also outstanding defensively. According to FanGraphs, his adjusted defensive rating was 38.8 and he racked up 4.1 defensive WAR in Pittsburgh. Both above average numbers. He also consistently posted very good caught stealing numbers, including a 50% caught stealing rate in 1960 when he helped the Pirates upset the New York Yankees in the World Series. Running games were more prevalent during this era of baseball, adding to the impressiveness of these numbers. Overall, Burgess had the 5th highest catcher fWAR in Bucs’ history.

facebooktwitterreddit