Pittsburgh Pirates: Best First Round Picks in Franchise History
By Noah Wright
Number Three – Richie Hebner
I ranked Richie Hebner as the Pittsburgh Pirates third best third basemen in franchise history, and for a good reason. The 15th overall pick in the 1966 MLB Draft, Hebner was a pretty good batter during his Pirate tenure. From 1969 to 1976, Hebner batted .277/.350/.445 with 121 home runs and a 123 OPS+ and wRC+. Hebner did the most damage with his bat between the years 1969 to 1975. In this seven year span, Hebner batted for a strong .281/.354/.454 line, and blasted 112 home runs. He also posted a 127 OPS+.
Hebner may not have been the best defender with -49 total zone runs at third base, but he was an overall strong contributor for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1970s. In total, Hebner’s 30 fWAR ranks 4th in all Pirates’ 1st round picks.
Hebner was also a member of the Pirates’ 1971 World Series Championship club. That postseason, he hit for a .241/.333/.586 slash line in 33 plate appearances. He hit three home runs, a double, walked three times, and drove in seven runs.
In five trips to the postseason with the Pirates, Hebner collected 21 hits in 76 at bats. This included four home runs and five doubles.