Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tribute to 1991 Donruss - Nate McClouth

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Back again with my favorite set, 1991 Donruss. Which means it's time for another oddly cropped action shot!

Today I've featured Nate McClouth of the Pirates. McClouth had a breakout year in 2008. At age 26, in his first full big-league season, McClouth was a Gold Glove winner and All-Star for the Pirates in 2008.

While some people may discredit McClouth's Gold Glove, one thing all baseball fans can agree with about Nate McClouth is that he is a great all around player and phenomenal base stealer.

2005 - 41 Games, 2 SB, 0 CS
2006 - 106 Games, 10 SB, 1 CS
2007 - 137 Games, 22 SB, 1 CS
2008 - 152 Games, 23 SB, 3 CS


That leaves him with a 91% success rate in the Majors. Wow!

In the minors, McClouth was more aggressive (30 to 40 steals a year) and averaged out at an 82% success rate. This is also very good.

Interestingly, at the margin, we can loosely interpret that his more "aggressive" stolen bases in the minors were at a 72% rate, which is just a little below breakeven. That said, he did steal 40 of 44 in high A ball a few years ago. So I think the potential is there for McClouth to up his SB total with the Pirates in 2009 without hurting his success rate much.

Speaking of fast-moving (and who knows, maybe fast-talking) Pirates, it's too bad Chris Duffy hasn't amounted to much, since he himself is also an exceptional basestealer. In 2006, when he was fully healthy, Duffy stole 26 bases and was thrown out just once. And lest you forget, that wasn't even a full season of Duffy (just 84 games). If healthy, the two players would make quite a stolen base tandem for the Pirates, although probably not at the top of the lineup together. Yes, McClouth can hit anywhere in the order, but Duffy would be much better #8 or #9 hitter (yes, I realize this is the National League we're talking about) due to his poor hitting and on base skills.

This card is also a tip of the cap to the excellent Card Junkie.

1 comment:

  1. McClouth came out of nowhere to become our best player. I can tell you in April he was considered a platoon player then went on a hitting streak and kept his spot in the lineup after that. He ended up with 26 HR and 94 RBI. As for his gold glove I was surprised as well but he did finish 2nd in the NL in fielding percentage among outfielders. His shining moment came in this year's All Star game. He made a clutch throw from center field in the 10th inning to catcher Russell Martin for an out at the plate that cut down the potential game-winning run for the American League. Martin later commented that Nate's throw was "perfect". Thanks again for making this card Dave, it looks awesome.

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