We talked about how good Barry Bonds was with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992 with his 198 wRC+, making him the most productive batter in a single season in Pittsburgh Pirate history. But what about the other side of the spectrum? What is the most unproductive season in Pittsburgh Pirates’ history? If we limit it to Pirate seasons with at least 200 plate appearances, it would be Doug Strange who has an ironically fitting name.
Strange played just one season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, that being in 1998. He was your run of the mill, light hitting, defensive replacement kind of guy. Before latching on with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was a career .240/.304/.351 hitter with a 73 wRC+, but +2.8 defensive WAR across 1868 career games. However, his batting numbers from previous years would look like silver slugger worthy years compared to his 1998 season.
In 201 plate appearances, Strange was a .173/.217/.216 hitter with no home runs. This all came together in the single lowest wRC+ mark in Pirate history at 8. He was 92% worse than the average hitter. 23 pitchers in 1998 out hit Strange, and 12 hit more home runs than him. In 2019, 23 pitchers again would have out hit the infielder.