Looking at the career of former Phillies outfielder Juan Pierre, we look to see if he has enough credentials for Hall of Fame consideration.
Juan Pierre had one solid season with the Phillies at the end of his career that spanned from 2000 to 2013. A late round draft pick, the diminutive Pierre made the most of his ability, ranking in the top 20 all-time in stolen bases. Is that enough to warrant Hall of Fame consideration when he is eligible in 2019?
Pierre’s time with the Phillies was limited to the 2012 season when he appeared in 130 games. Clearly at the tail end of his career at age 34, Pierre hit .307 with 37 stolen bases in red and white pinstripes.
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Taking a look back, Pierre was drafted in the 30th round out of high school by the Mariners in 1995. After a year at Galveston College, Pierre as drafted in the 48th round again by the Mariners. He didn’t begin his professional career until after being drafted by the Rockies in the 13th round in 1998.
He quickly became one of the most productive base stealers of the generation, leading the league in stolen bases in 2001 and 2003. Pierre swiped 40 or more bases eight times and had a career best and league leading 68 stolen bases in 2010. On the downside, Pierre also lead the league in caught stealing seven times.
Clearly Pierre’s 614 career stolen bases which ranks 18th all-time is impressive, but is that enough to warrant significant Hall of Fame consideration? Less than half (nine) of the 17 players with more career stolen bases have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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Examining the rest of his career, Pierre’s numbers are solid, but not spectacular. He doesn’t rank in the top 100 all-time in any other statistical category, yet finished with 2,217 hits and 1,075 runs scored. He lead the league in hits twice with over 200 both seasons and had a league leading 12 triples in 2004. However, Pierre never made an All-Star team, nor won a Gold Glove award. He also lacked power, producing only 367 extra base hits in 8,280 plate appearances.
A very solid contributor for six teams over a 14-year career, Pierre is short in several significant categories, including power, All-Star appearances and Gold Glove awards. Although dominant in the stolen base category, one has to answer the question, “Was Juan Pierre one of the very best at his position during his career?” Good to very good many season, “yes”. One of the very best, “no”.