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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29 Apr 2001: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Pittsburgh Pirates swings at ball during the game against the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Padres defeated the Pirates 6-1.Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport
29 Apr 2001: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Pittsburgh Pirates swings at ball during the game against the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Padres defeated the Pirates 6-1.Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport /

Third Base: 2001 Aramis Ramirez

Aramis Ramirez may have had his best years with the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, but his 2001 breakout season was with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was quite the season as well for the long time National League All-Star third baseman.

Through the 655 plate appearances Ramirez had in 2001, the hot corner defender hit for a .300/.350/.536 slash line. What’s more impressive is the amount of power Ramirez put on display during 2001. He had hit 34 home runs and he put up an isolated slugging percentage of .235. In most years, Ramirez would have probably been a top-3 slugger, but his home run total was just 5th in baseball, and his ISO was 6th among his position. He had a 125 wRC+, but because it was during the steroid era this was not as impressive a feat as it is today.

Still, just because it was the steroid era does not mean this was not  a good season. His wRC+ might be the 17th best among Pirate third baseman in a single season, but his home run total is the third highest mark. His ISO also ranks third, and no other Pirate third baseman has ever had a season where they put up a slugging percentage higher than his.

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