Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Best Second Basemen in Franchise History

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PITTSBURGH, PA – 1985: Second baseman Johnny Ray #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws to first base in an attempt to complete a double play against the New York Mets during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1985 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – 1985: Second baseman Johnny Ray #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws to first base in an attempt to complete a double play against the New York Mets during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1985 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Number 4 – Johnny Ray

After Stennett was was picked up by the San Francisco Giants at the end of the 1970s, Johnny Ray took over at second for the Pittsburgh Pirates. From 1981 to 1987, Ray was the Pirates’ primary keystone defender.

Like Stennett, he was never a fantastic batter, but he was better than his predecessor. He hit only .286/.334/.390 with a 99 OPS+ and wRC+. But he did have a solid three year stretch from 1984 to 1986 when he hit .295/.347/.400 with a 108 OPS+. He also walked (259) a handful of more times than he went down on strike three (207). Plus, Ray was a doubles machine. He collected 30 or more doubles five different times with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ray was quite durable as well playing at least 150 games seven different times in his career, five of which were with the Pirates for the entirety of the season.

He was also a great fielder to go along with his overall average offense. His +39 total zone runs sits just behind Stennet at number five. He also had a 7.3 defensive WAR with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His 19.1 fWAR is the 4th highest among all Pirates second basemen.

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