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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Most Overrated Outfielder traded to White Sox

Juan Pierre was finally freed of his role as "4th outfielder" with the Dodgers. The unfortunate thing for Chicago is that 4th outfielder is his perfect role. Juan Pierre - owner of 13 career home runs in 1400+ career games despite playing two and a half seasons in Coors Field - doesn't hit for enough (any) power to be considered a viable every day player. Yes, he does hit for a decent average (.301) but it's likely that once that skill starts to fade his OBP will really suffer as well since he doesn't walk much(career high of 55 in 2003). The skill he is most associated with is his speed until recently wasn't a very good baserunner despite being a threat to lead the league in steals. He takes poor routes to the ball as a center fielder and it's possible the only two outfielders with worse throwing arms are Johnny Damon and Jacoby Ellsbury. What makes this trade a real doozy is that he is owed a ton of money. These are the main reasons why I nicknamed Pierre "Moo" a few years ago (Most Overrated Outfielder).
That being said, Moo is still a player with uses. He's a left-handed hitter who makes good contact. Despite not having the power to be a prototypical corner outfielder he's above average defensively there. The main concern should be the fact he turns 33 in August. With his lack of secondary skills (power, OBP) it could be a fast, precipitous fall for Pierre. Combining his age with his personality complex (Spanish first name, French last name) would cause me to shy away from acquiring him.
I don't know where the Sox plan on playing Pierre this season but a LF platoon with Andruw Jones would make the most sense while playing Rios in CF and Quentin in RF. This could be a decent outfield but I wouldn't bet on it.

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