Pittsburgh Pirates: Constructing the Franchise’s All-Time Defensive Team

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Outfielder Roberto Clemente' #21of Pittsburgh Pirates warms up playing catch prior to the start of a Major League Baseball game circa 1970. Clemente' Played for the Pirates from 1955-72. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Outfielder Roberto Clemente' #21of Pittsburgh Pirates warms up playing catch prior to the start of a Major League Baseball game circa 1970. Clemente' Played for the Pirates from 1955-72. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 5: Barry Bonds #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates prepares for a pitch during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on August 5, 1990 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 8-6. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 5: Barry Bonds #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates prepares for a pitch during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on August 5, 1990 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 8-6. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Left Field – Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds may have mostly been known for his bat during his career, I mean he is the all time home run leader, but that doesn’t mean he was a bad fielder. He was actually one of the Pirates’ best defensive outfielders in the franchise’s history.

Bonds had +115 total zone runs in his Pirates’ tenure, making him one of the other three Pirates with at least 100+ total zone runs in their time with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had over a 18 total zone runs above average in a single season four different times, including a +37 mark in 1989.

Bonds also reached at least 10 outfield assists five times. Bonds had plenty of range too. Even though range runs above average didn’t exist when he was with the Pirates, he had a +9.4 mark in the last six years of his career, in his late 30s and early 40s. So you can just assume how good he was in his early-to-mid 20s.

In his career Bonds won eight Gold Glove Awards. This included capturing the first three of those awards while still a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1990 – 1992.

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