Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Best First Basemen in Franchise History

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CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 09: A general view of Progressive Field prior to the 90th MLB All-Star Game on July 9, 2019 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Number Five – Gus Suhr

Gus Suhr served as the team’s first baseman for most of the 1930s. He finished out the decade with the cross state rival Philadelphia Phillies, but was traded mid-season, and was an effective batter for most of his Pittsburgh Pirates tenure.

During his 10 season run with the Bucs, Suhr batted .278/.368/.428 with a 112 OPS+ and 114 wRC+. Suhr wasn’t a big power hitter with a sub-.450 slugging percentage and .149 isolated slugging percentage, but he racked up tons of doubles with at least 30 in a season six different times. One interesting fact about the lefty hitter is that he actually had more triples than home runs with 112 three-baggers and 79 long balls. He also walked a lot more than he struck out. With the Pirates, Suhr had 679 walks to 414 strikeouts.

Suhr was much more productive during his prime from 1933 to 1939, hitting .285/.374/.435 with 52 home runs 192 doubles, and a 119 OPS+ in those 7 seasons. He also made the 1936 All-Star Game in this time span as well.

Suhr wasn’t anything great defensively with +2 total zone runs above average, and -6.6 dWAR. Regardless, Suhr’s fWAR of 22.2 comes in 3rd among all Pirate first basemen.

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