Number 3 – Barry Bonds
Like with Kiner, had Barry Bonds had about 1,000 more plate appearances with the Pittsburgh Pirates he probably would be a spot or two higher. Bonds had 4,255 plate appearances with the Pirates, which puts him lower on the list.
Bonds’ first few seasons with the Bucs were solid, but he wouldn’t reach his full potential until the early 1990s. From 1986 to 1989, Bonds hit just .256/.345/.458. He also hit 84 home runs and collected 117 stolen bases, showing the rare trait of power and speed. Overall good production, including a 124 OPS+. But from 1990 to 1992, Bonds became a fantastic batter.
In this three-year span, Bonds hit .301/.424/.566 with 92 home runs and 134 stolen bases. This all included a 177 OPS+, and a 204 OPS+ season in 1992. In ‘92, Bonds batted for a .311/.456/.624 with 34 home runs. He won the NL MVP that season, and the 198 wRC+ he had that season is the highest single season mark of any Pirates’ batter.
What gave Bonds the edge here over Kiner is his ability to play the other side of the ball. Bonds was an outstanding batter with the Pirates. His 145 wRC+ is the 5th best in Pirates history. But Bonds has the 7th highest base running runs above average mark at 20.3. Among all Pirates outfielder of all time, Bonds has the 2nd highest total zone mark at 129. Only the great Roberto Clemente ranks higher than Bonds, and Bonds probably would have surpassed him if he played with the Pirates longer.