Pittsburgh Pirates: Most Underrated Season at Each Position in Franchise History
By Noah Wright
First Base: 1982 Jason Thompson
Among great seasons from Pirate first basemen, Willie Stargell might come to mind. But one of the best seasons from a Pirate first baseman came from Jason Thompson. I ranked Thompson as the fourth best Pirates’ first baseman in their history. His second full season with the Pittsburgh Pirates was one to remember.
Accumulating 662 plate appearances, Thompson hit for a fantastic slash line of .284/.391/.511. Throughout his career, Thompson was known to have great plate discipline, and this year was no exception. Thompson walked 15.3% of the time and went down on strike three just 16.2% of the time.
Thompson also crushed 31 long balls that year. Thompson’s 151 wRC+ made him the sixth best batter in baseball that year, even surpassing very notable names like Dwight Evans, the late but great Gary Carter, and Reggie Jackson.
What’s surprising is that this is the second-best season by a primary first baseman across an entire season. Only Willie Stargell’s 1972 season surpasses him offensively. But by a Pirate who played exclusively first base, Thompson holds the number one spot in wRC+. He also put up a 5.2 fWAR, again placing in the top 5, at number four.