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Juan Pierre

Chicago White Sox — No. 1
Outfielder
Born: August 14, 1977 (1977-08-14) (age 32)
Mobile, Alabama
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
August 7, 2000 for the Colorado Rockies
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .301
On base percentage     .348
Hits     1663
Stolen bases     459
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Juan D'Vaughn Pierre (born August 14, 1977 in Mobile, Alabama) is an outfielder in Major League Baseball who plays for the Chicago White Sox. He bats and throws left-handed.

Pierre, who was named for Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal, went to high school at Alexandria Senior High School in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Contents

College

Prior to his professional career, he played at Galveston College and the University of South Alabama, where he was 1998 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.

Minor leagues

Pierre began his professional career with the Portland Rockies of the Northwest League, after being selected by Colorado in the 13th round of the 1998 MLB Draft. He won the league batting and stolen base titles in his first professional season, and was a fan favorite even at that level. Pierre began 2000 with the Carolina Mudcats before finishing the year in Colorado.

Major leagues

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Colorado Rockies

Pierre made his major league debut on August 7, 2000, as a pinch runner for the Rockies against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made his first start in center field the following day and got his first hit in the first inning off José Silva.

Florida Marlins

On November 16, 2002, Pierre was traded along with Mike Hampton and cash to the Florida Marlins for Charles Johnson, Preston Wilson, Vic Darensbourg, and Pablo Ozuna.

In the 2003 regular season, Pierre posted a .305 batting average, led the NL in games played (162), at-bats (668), stolen bases (65), and sacrifice hits (15), and led the majors with the lowest strikeout percentage (5.2%),[1] During the post-season, he was a major contributor to the Marlins' 2003 World Series championship. He batted .333 in the World Series and .301 overall in his first playoff experience.

In 2004, he led the National League in at bats (for the second year in a row) with 678; hits (221); triples (12); games played (162); bunt hits (24)[2]; infield hits (38);[2](5.2%).[1] In addition, he was the only major league player to play every inning of each of his team's games.

In 2005, Pierre led the National League in games played (162), and had the third-lowest strikeout percentage in baseball (6.9%).[3]

Pierre batting for the Cubs in 2006

Chicago Cubs

On December 7, 2005, the Marlins traded Pierre to the Chicago Cubs, receiving pitchers Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, and Renyel Pinto in exchange. The deal was motivated by the Marlins' need to cut payroll after finding itself unable to secure a new stadium deal in South Florida.

In 2006, despite batting only .292, Pierre led the NL with 204 hits, winning his second hit title, and in at-bats (699), games played (162), bunt hits (21), infield hits (30),[4] and in lowest strikeout percentage (5.4%).[5] He also tied for the major league lead in times reached base on an error (13),[2] and played perfect defensive baseball, earning a fielding percentage of 1.000. However, he also led the major leagues in outs made (532), the second-highest out total for a player since 1982.

Los Angeles Dodgers

On November 22, 2006, Pierre signed a $44 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers[6].

Pierre (right) with Dodgers teammates Andre Ethier and Andruw Jones in 2008.

In 2007, Pierre led the majors in bunt hits (19). He also led the NL in games played (162) for the 5th straight year, and singles (164) for the second straight year, led the league in sacrifice hits (20), and had the lowest strikeout percentage in the NL (5.5%),[7]. He was 2nd in the NL in stolen bases (64), 3rd in at bats (668) and plate appearances (729), 4th in hits (196), and 9th in triples (8).

Going into 2008, the Dodgers signed Andruw Jones to a two-year contract to play center field. Because of this, Pierre shifted to left field. After a trip to the DL in July, Pierre was moved into a platoon in center field with the struggling Jones. When the Dodgers traded for Manny Ramirez, Pierre moved to the bench and saw limited action, primarily as a pinch runner the rest of the season.

Manager Joe Torre said of Pierre on MLB.com. "I've delivered bad news to him two years in a row -- first with Andruw Jones, then when Manny came on board. He's more understanding about being a backup. He's been a pro through this whole thing."

After nearly 2 years without hitting a home run, Pierre hit a ball into the right field seats at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on September 15, 2008. It was Pierre's first traditional fly ball home run since August 28, 2006, also in Pittsburgh.

Prior to the 2009 season started, the Dodgers gave Pierre and his agent permission to talk to other teams in hopes of working out a trade, since Ramirez's re-signing with the Dodgers pushed Pierre to the backup role in left field.

When Manny Ramirez received a 50 game suspension, Pierre once more became the Dodgers' regular left fielder. During Ramirez's suspension, Pierre delivered a stellar performance that drew praise from fans and critics alike. However, once Ramirez returned, he resumed his previous role of a backup player. In recognition of his hard work, Dodgers fans gave him a standing ovation on July 16, the same game where Ramirez had his first home game since returning from suspension. [8]

Chicago White Sox

On December 15, 2009, Pierre was traded to the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitching prospects to be named.[9] The Dodgers will reportedly pay $10.5 million of the remaining $18.5 million owed in salary to Pierre for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.[10]

Anyone who doesn't feel bad for the fans of the Dodgers and White Sox for spending 10.5 million and 8 million dollars (respectively) on Juan Pierre over the next two years is obviously heartless.

Accomplishments

Pierre leading off second as Braves reliever Blaine Boyer checks the runner in April 2008.

An association which clearly consists of Juan Pierre's immediate family.

Seriously,

  • Pierre was the only player in baseball to play every inning of all his team's games in 2004, and was only the third player to do it since 1971.
  • On May 9, 2006, Pierre robbed the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds of a career 714th home run, which would have tied Bonds with Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list, by catching the ball as it topped the fence.

Does every player who ever robbed Bonds of a homer have said catch listed as a career highlight? Because if not, I'm going to have to wonder if Juan Pierre wrote this.

  • Was the first Marlin to record 200 hits in a season
  • Set the record for the lowest batting average (.292) in a season (2006) while collecting at least 200 hits (204).

I'm not sure if the author of this section understands the meaning of the word "accomplishment."

  • Has the most stolen bases of any active player
  • On July 29, 2008, Pierre stole his 100th base with the Dodgers, becoming only one of four players in MLB history to steal at least a hundred bases with three different teams. He previously stole 100 with the Colorado Rockies and 167 with the Florida Marlins. Tommy Harper, Brett Butler, and Otis Nixon are the only others to have accomplished this feat.[11]
  • Pierre tied former Dodger Steve Sax on the top fifty career MLB stolen base leaders list with 444 on June 12, 2009, against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.[12] The next day, June 13, he pushed Sax out of the top 50 with his 445th steal, again versus the Rangers in Arlington (Next on the list at #46 is Bobby Bonds with 461).[13][14]

Barry Bonds's place on the all-time SB leaderboard does seem relevant to a discussion of Pierre's accomplishments. After all, they're relatively comparable players in all aspects of the game. Pierre's like only 70,987 spots behind Bonds in career home runs.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Baseball Leaderboard - Advanced - Fan Graphs - 2004". Fan Graphs. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2004. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Baseball Leaderboard - Batted Ball - Fan Graphs - 2004". Fan Graphs. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=2&season=2004. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  3. ^ "Baseball Leaderboard - Advanced - Fan Graphs - 2005". Fan Graphs. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2005. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  4. ^ "Baseball Leaderboard - Batted Ball - 2006 - Fan Graphs - 2006". Fan Graphs. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=2&season=2006. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Baseball Leaderboard - Advanced - Fan Graphs - 2006". Fan Graphs. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2006. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  6. ^ The Official Site of The Los Angeles Dodgers: News: Top-heavy Dodgers sign Pierre
  7. ^ "Baseball Leaderboard - Advanced - Fan Graphs - 2007". Fan Graphs. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2007. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  8. ^ Juan Pierre finally gets his due
  9. ^ Pierre dealt to White Sox
  10. ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iAgmWkT9AGo-gxgmJ5-ySrO89KngD9CJVDO80
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ June 12, 2009 - Rangers 6 - Dodgers 0 box score. - Baseball-Reference.com
  13. ^ June 13, 2009 - Dodgers 3 - Rangers 1 box score. - Baseball-Reference.com
  14. ^ Career Leaders & Records for Stolen Bases. - Baseball-Reference.com

External links

Preceded by
Luis Castillo
Luis Castillo
National League Stolen Base Champion
2001 (with Jimmy Rollins)
2003
Succeeded by
Luis Castillo
Scott Podsednik

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