Pittsburgh Pirates: 5 Best Left Fielders in Franchise History

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CIRCA 1972: Willie Stargell #8, of the Pittsburgh Pirates pregame portrait from his 1972 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Willie Stargell played for 21 years, all with the Pirates, was a 7-time All-Star, National League MVP in 1979 and was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988. (Photo by: 1972 SPX/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
CIRCA 1972: Willie Stargell #8, of the Pittsburgh Pirates pregame portrait from his 1972 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Willie Stargell played for 21 years, all with the Pirates, was a 7-time All-Star, National League MVP in 1979 and was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988. (Photo by: 1972 SPX/Diamond Images via Getty Images) /

Number 1 – Willie Stargell

Willie “Pops” Stargell was easily the best batter in baseball during the 1970s. In his career, Pops Stargell hit .282/.360/.529 with a 147 OPS+ and 145 wRC+. Stargell is the all time home run leader in Pirates history with 475 long balls. All time, Stargell’s home run total ties him with St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial for the 32nd most of all time.

Stargell dominated the 1970s. Across the decade, he put up a .287/.374/.555 line and 296 home runs. Stargell’s 154 wRC+ ranked as the best during the decade. He also led the MLB in home runs during the decade, surpassing Reggie Jackson by four. The most impressive part about this is that Stargell only averaged 126 games a season during the decade while Jackson averaged 144 games a season.

Stargell has a career fWAR of 62.9, which places him 5th among all Pirates batters. Stargell did spend the last five seasons of his career as a primary first baseman, and has 7027.1 innings logged in the infield. However, a majority of his time came from left field. In his career, the slugger had -22 total zone runs in left, which made him a solid, but not great outfielder. Regardless, Willie Stargell takes the top spot as the best Pirates left fielder of all time.