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Free Agent Profile: Juan Pierre

Juan Pierre

Today’s profile is about one of baseball’s most exciting players, and a guy who does everything well.  Juan Pierre is that guy, and he can make a number of teams very happy, should he agree to sign with them during this offseason.  Pierre can hit for average, has blazing speed, plays one heck of a centerfield, and is a top-tier leadoff hitter without the walks — in other words, he’s valuable in almost every way.  Here’s an in-depth look at what Pierre did this season, and how he might do next season with whichever team signs him.

To start, here are Juan Pierre’s base statistics…

  • Batting Average: .292
  • On-Base Percentage: .330
  • Slugging Percentage: .388 — Pierre has little to no power
  • OPS: .717 — hampered by lowly slugging percentage
  • Doubles: 32
  • Triples: 13 — he can motor around the basepaths
  • Homeruns: 3 — as I said, Pierre has no pop
  • RBIs: 40
  • Runs: 87
  • Stolen Bases/Caught Stealing: 58/20 — that’s a lot of swiped bags
  • Walks: 32 — very few for a leadoff hitter
  • Strikeouts: 58 — excellent for 699AB’s

Juan Pierre is not your prototypical leadoff hitter.  He simply doesn’t walk.  However, Juan Pierre led the league in hits this season with 204, allowing him to maintain a decent (.330) OBP without taking many bases on balls.  Aside from that, Pierre has no power, but rounds the bases faster than you can say, “is he fast or what?”.  He does everything a leadoff hitter has got to do, which makes Pierre a top-tier candidate to fill teh #1 hole in the lineup.

Time for some situational stats…

  • Bases Empty: .305/.341/.407
  • Runners On: .257/.299/.335 — yikes/ouch/uh-oh
  • RISP: .232/.292/.296 — bad/worse/horrible
  • RISP w/2 outs: .200/.273/.263 — enough said
  • Bases Loaded: .643/.643/.857 — that’ll do, and then some

All right, before you start spreading word of Pierre’s disgusting situational statistics, let me defend them a bit.  It’s hard for a hitter with next-to-no power to do well in situations with runners on base.  It’s also not of much importance that a leadoff hitter be able to thrive with runners on.  Pierre can hit leadoff and leadoff only, but he can do it pretty darn well.  If you stick him anywhere else in the lineup, those situational stats will make you want to bench him for the season.  Put him in the #1 slot however, and you’ll have yourself an exciting guy to watch.

Let’s move on to Pierre’s split stats…

  • Vs. Lefties: .293/.341/.358
  • Vs. Righties: .291/.324/.404 — all 3HR came against righties
  • Home (Wrigley Field — neutral): .282/.323/.363
  • Away: .301/.336/.411 — great for a leadoff man
  • Day Games: .311/.353/,416
  • Night Games: .273/.306/.359 — might want to reconsider those fireworks nights

There are definitely some situations in which Pierre does better than others.  He thrives on the road and during day games, and recedes into the dark when the game is a nightcap at Wrigley Field.  He does about equally well against righties and lefties, which is important for a leadoff hitter.  Once again, it’s clear that Pierre is built to hit leadoff and nothing else.

Here’s one more thing that I can say to Pierre’s advantage…

  • Pre-AllStar Break: .275/.321/.361
  • Post-AllStar Break: .311/.340/.418

Juan Pierre was terrific in the 2nd half for the Cubs; unfortunately, it didn’t matter because by that time, Chicago’s NL squad was well behind in the standings.  His 2nd half success could be beneficial to a contender though, and those numbers in the latter part of the year could help Pierre get some extra attention this offseason.

Which teams are likely to be in the market for Juan Pierre?

As I’ve already said, the best position for Pierre to fill is in centerfield and at the top of the order.  There are several teams with openings in those departments and the majority of them are out west.  The NL West is full of potential suitors for Pierre, including the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres.  The AL West might also be interested, with the Rangers and A’s potentially joining the mix.  Other teams that could be interested in the Juan PIerre include the Red Sox, Phillies, White Sox, and Brewers.  My guess however, is that Pierre is almost certainly going to the West Coast, leaving deep dish pizza for the California Pizza Kitchen.

My prediction: Pierre signs a 3year deal with the San Francisco Giants to become the team’s centerfielder.  The deal should be worth about 18-20Million.  

Stats: I think Pierre will hit around .290-.300 in 2007 with 2-6HR and 50-55RBI.  He’ll score roughly 85Runs, steal around 50-55 bases and do a great job in centerfield.  

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Tomorrow’s Profile: Eric Gagne

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Trivia Time!

Yesterday’s question (see — Profile: Daisuke Matsuzaka) was a tough one…

Can you name the 10 current MLB players who were born in Japan?

The correct answer…

  1. Hideki Matsui — OF — NY Yankees
  2. Shinji Mori — P — Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  3. Tadahito Iguchi — 2B — Chicago White Sox
  4. Ichiro Suzuki — OF — Seattle Mariners
  5. Kenji Johjima — C — Seattle Mariners
  6. Akinori Otsuka — P — Texas Rangers
  7. Tomo Ohka — P — Milwaukee Brewers
  8. So Taguchi — OF — St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Kazuo Matsui — INF — Colorado Rockies
  10. Takashi Saito — P — LA Dodgers

Today’s question is…

The Florida Marlins traded Juan Pierre to the Chicago Cubs last Winter for 3 young pitchers.  Can you name them?

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