We’re back for our fifth installment of players you forgot the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted. Here are three more notable players you may have forgotten that the team drafted.
Here we are back with another installment of players you forgot the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted. We all know about guys like Andrew McCutchen, but there are so many other players that the Pittsburgh Pirates had picked and their time in the organization was so short it became forgotten, or were picked but never signed.
Because I’ve gone over so many different players in this series, there’s bound to be some that some fans may remember that I have covered before. So without further ado, let’s get into our first player of the day.
Second Baseman Willie Randolph
Willie Randolph is arguably the best second baseman in New York Yankees history. He spent 18 years in the bigs including 13 with the Yanks from 1976 to 1988. In those 13 years, Randolph hit .275/.374/.357 with a 110 wRC+ and .337 wOBA. Randolph may not have been much of a power hitter with only 48 home runs and .082 isolated slugging in New York, but he walked 13.5% of the time and only struck out 6.5% of all of his plate appearances.
Randolph’s ability to reach base was extremely useful given his speed. He stole 251 bags which is the fourth most in Yankees’ history and had +17.6 baserunning runs above average. Plus he made five all-star games in a Yankee uniform (plus a sixth with the LA Dodgers), won a Silver Slugger Award and got MVP votes in two seasons.
Randolph didn’t win any Gold Glove Awards, but that doesn’t mean he was a bad fielder. With +115 career total zone runs across his entire career at the Key Stone, he was actually quite great with the leather.
While Randolph is among some of the better Yankees in their long storied history, he started out his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was selected by the Bucs in the 7th round of the 1972 draft from Tilden High School in Brooklyn. Randolph steadily made his way up through the Pirate system and by 1975, he was on the cusp of making the bigs. Through 360 plate appearances at Triple-A, Randolph hit .339/.405/.479.
He made his debut in 1975 as well with the Pittsburgh Pirates and only had 70 plate appearances with the Pirates before he was traded in the 1975-1976 offseason. Randolph was traded with Doc Ellis and 1974 All-Star Ken Brett to New York for Doc Medich. While Medich did have a decent year with the Bucs pitching to the tune of a 3.51 ERA, 3.24 FIP and 1.33 WHIP in 179.1 innings. However these were the only 179.1 innings he pitched in a Pirate uniform. He was flipped to the Oakland Athletics the next offseason for three players, with the most notable being Phil Garner.