Pittsburgh Pirates: Clutchest Seasons in Franchise History

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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UNDATED: JAY BELL, SHORTSTOP FOR THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES, SWINGS AT A PITCH AT THREE RIVERS STADIUM IN PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA. MANDATORY CREDIT: RICK STEWART/ALLSPORT.
UNDATED: JAY BELL, SHORTSTOP FOR THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES, SWINGS AT A PITCH AT THREE RIVERS STADIUM IN PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA. MANDATORY CREDIT: RICK STEWART/ALLSPORT. /

Jay Bell, 1990

Jay Bell is one of the Pirates’ best shortstops throughout their history. The one time Pirate All-Star racked up 24.5 fWAR throughout his eight years with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I ranked him as the Bucs’ 3rd best shortstop in their franchise history. After all, out of all Pirates’ shortstops, he has the 3rd highest wRC+ (104), and fWAR (24.5) (min. 2000 plate appearances). But in his first full season with the Pirates, Bell established himself as a clutch hitter.

Through 696 plate appearances, Bell only hit for an unspectacular line of .254/.329/.362 with 7 home runs, and 10 stolen bases. Overall, he was a slightly below average hitter with a 97 wRC+ and .315 wOBA. Still, his 15.7% strikeout rate was strong, even for the era.

Bell racked up a clutch index of +1.47, the 5th highest in the hsitory of the Pittsburgh Pirates, mainly because he hit so well in high leverage situations compared to his seasonal stats. With men in scoring position, he hit for a solid .281/.354/.446 line. 10 of his 34 hits went for extra bases, and he only struck out 22 out of the 153 times he stepped to the plate. However in high leverage situations, he hit .318/.387/.432 in the 119 plate appearances he received in those moments.

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