Top Ten Pirates “Fish That Got Away”

Today we’re going to talk about some players who had little more than a cup of coffee with the Buccos before finding their way out of town. Some will have exploded once leaving, while others never found the success they once had in Pittsburgh.

  1. Steve Pearce – Steve played in parts of five seasons for the Pirates from 2007 through 2011. He bounced to a few more stops before finding a home and his swing in Baltimore. Being a utility type player who was capable in the corner outfield spots as well as corner infield, finding a place to play shouldn’t have been that hard, that said, the onus is on the player to make you see him.
  2. Brock Holt – I still remember how exciting Brock was when he came up in September of 2012. Maybe I just wasn’t as plugged in back then as I am now but he seemingly came out of nowhere. He was fast and had a quick swing that just simply looked unstoppable. After that 21 game cup of coffee with the Bucs, he was traded to the Red Sox along with Joel Hanrahan, four players came back from the Sox but the impact player was Mark Melancon.
  3. Jose Bautista – I mean, how do you make a list like this without tossing a mention at Joey Bats? He played parts of 4 seasons with the Bucs and he did show some of that power he had under the surface, nothing like the 54 he would hit in his first full season in Toronto though. I can’t blame the Bucs for moving on in many ways, he was given quite a nice look. Classic late bloomer.
  4. Rajai Davis – He spent part of two seasons here in Pittsburgh and really came into his own with Oakland. Maybe I’m just bitter about how acquiring Matt Morris worked out for our Pirates, but Rajai brought speed and gap power that would have looked awful good in black and gold.
  5. Austin Meadows – While he was here the Bucs seemed to do everything they could to prevent him from getting a foothold, a lesson they surely would have repeated if injury didn’t provide Bryan Reynolds the opportunity Austin wasn’t given. Even in his short audition he looked the part, still he was treated as little more than a throw in to get Chris Archer. He already looks like a perennial All-Star.
  6. Tyler Glasnow – Why not just go for the jugular right? I’m not going to say he looked like a great pitcher while with Pittsburgh, but every scout, every coach outside of our clubhouse anyway talked about his stuff and how difficult it is to harness height like that and control pitches with that much movement. Still he was given away happily again for Chris Archer only to immediately show he could be coached. Time will tell exactly how bad this was.
  7. Reese McGwire – He’s not the best catcher I’ve seen, but a team starved for catching depth sure would be better off having him in town. Instead he was a pay off for taking the contract of an aging Francisco Liriano off our hands, which in and of itself might have been a bad idea.
  8. Moises Alou – He was traded before he had a chance to blossom to acquire Zane Smith. It’s not that the Bucs didn’t need a pitcher, its more about missing out on one of the best outfield prospects to come along since Barry Bonds.
  9. Charlie Morton – Much like Glasnow, Ground Chuck had more than the Bucs were capable of getting out of him. His lights out stuff was stifled with pitch to contact ethos and eventually he found his way to Houston where they banged the can the right way and Charlie was suddenly a Cy Young candidate.
  10. Brandon Moss – He spent parts of 3 seasons in Pittsburgh but never really caught on. A brief stop in Philly and it looked like the Bucs were right to let him go. Then he arrived in the sewage filled dugout of the Oakland A’s where he discovered his power stroke and played a key role in the playoff bound, moneyball loving Oakland Squads of the early 2010’s.

So who did I miss? Ten is enough pain for this writer.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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