Pittsburgh Pirates: Most Underrated Season at Each Position in Franchise History

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 31: Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two-run home run in the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on July 31, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 31: Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two-run home run in the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on July 31, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Neil Walker #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats against the Milwaukee Brewers during the third inning of their game on September 20, 2014 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Brewers defeated the Pirates 1-0. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Neil Walker #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats against the Milwaukee Brewers during the third inning of their game on September 20, 2014 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Brewers defeated the Pirates 1-0. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

Second Base: 2014 Neil Walker

Neil Walker is the second best second baseman ever to play in a Pirate uniform. But he doesn’t get recognition like the second best player to play at a position for a team. Walker gave the Pittsburgh Pirates five very good seasons of offensive performance. Out of the five, his 2014 season was the best.

Walker hit .272/.342/.467 with 23 home runs in 571 plate appearances. Walker only walked 7.9% of the time, which is solid, but not impressive. But what was impressive was his 15.7% strikeout rate. Walker posted a 130 wRC+ that season. Only Robinson Cano and Jose Altuve surpassed him in terms of wRC+. Daniel Murphy came in second in National League second baseman wRC+ at 110 in comparison. Walker was also tied with Brian Dozier for the major league lead in second basemen in long balls.

Among single seasons among Pirate second basemen, Walker’s wRC+ is second to Jim Viox in 1913. He eclipses Walker with a 139 wRC+. Walker’s 4.1 fWAR is the 9th highest of all time, but his long ball total, and isolated slugging percentage are top two.

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