Pittsburgh Pirates: Six Position Changes You Forgot About

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Maury Wills - Shortstop to Third Base

Maury Wills' stint in Pittsburgh is somewhat forgotten. The seven-time All-Star and 1962 MVP only spent two seasons in Pittsburgh. He's mostly known for his dozen years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he played shortstop. When the Pirates acquired Wills for Bob Bailey and Gene Michael in the 1966-1967 offseason, they already had a good shortstop in Gene Alley, so in order to get Wills playing time, they moved him over to third base.

Wills was an on-the-dot league average batter with a 100 wRC+ with the team. Overall, he was a .290/.330/.340 hitter with a 305 wOBA. Wills had a 5.6% walk rate and a 7.5% strikeout rate. The infielder was mostly known for his base running ability, and he stole 81 bags in just 302 games.

Now, granted, Wills wasn't completely unfamiliar with third base. He had 310.1 innings there during his time with the Dodgers. However, that's dwarfed by the 9424 innings he had at shortstop before landing with the Pirates. Wills was about an average defender at third base with zero total zone runs.

After the Montreal Expos selected Wills in the expansion draft, he would only see 80.1 more innings at third base. He was mostly moved back to shortstop, where he logged 3864.1 innings before retiring after the 1972 season. Although his position change wasn't permanent, it was a change the Pittbsurgh Pirates made to accommodate another All-Star shortstop.