Pittsburgh Pirates: 5 Best Left Fielders in Franchise History

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MANHATTAN, NY – 1950’s: Outfielder Ralph Kiner #4 of the Pittsburgh Pirates, poses for a portrait prior to a 1950’s game against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York. Kiner played for the Pirates from 1946-1953. (Photo by Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NY – 1950’s: Outfielder Ralph Kiner #4 of the Pittsburgh Pirates, poses for a portrait prior to a 1950’s game against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York. Kiner played for the Pirates from 1946-1953. (Photo by Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images) /

Number 4 – Ralph Kiner

The position is so deep, Ralph Kiner, a Hall of Famer, and one of the most famous Pittsburgh Pirates in history, is just number 4. But the biggest reason that he is so low is because he only had 4,732 plate appearances.

Kiner was an outstanding batter during his time with the Pirates. From 1946 to 1952, Kiner led the league in home runs every season. Leading the league in home runs for 7 straight seasons isn’t even something the likes of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron or Albert Pujols accomplished in their careers. He smacked a total of 294 long balls in this 7 year span. Kiner is still remembered as one of the most prolific home run hitters in MLB history.

Overall in his Pirates tenure, Kiner batted for a strong .280/.405/.567 slash line with a 157 OPS+ and 154 wRC+. Kiner walked 795 times to combat just 546 strikeouts. Although he was a poor fielder, with -10.7 career dWAR, he was easily one of the best Pirates’ batters in history. Among Pirates with at least 3,000 plate appearances, his wRC+ ranks 2nd, right behind the aforementioned Giles. His .438 wOBA is the best among all Pirates batters, and only Willie Stargell passes him in home runs.

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