On Friday night, White Sox outfielder Juan Pierre hit the 15th home run of his career. In so doing, he offered us an opportunity to reflect upon just how few home runs this man is responsible for.
I really do like the guy, no matter how overpaid or overvalued he is. That doesn't mean I can't find his numbers funny, of course. A few statistical truths that are interesting (or, at least, are interesting to me):
- In his career, retired pitcher Mike Hampton hit more more home runs (16) than Pierre has, despite the fact that Pierre has made nine times more plate appearances. Mike Hampton was perhaps the best-hitting pitcher of his day, but still: A PITCHER. MORE HOME RUNS. IN 1/9TH AS MANY PLATE APPEARANCES.
- In all, six career pitchers (guys who played at least 90% of their games as pitchers) have hit more home runs than Juan Pierre. Only one -- Warren Spahn -- had more than 1,400 plate appearances. Remember, Pierre has 7,062.
- In terms of OPS+, Pierre (85) is the 19th-worst hitter ever to have as many plate appearances as he does.
- Again in terms of OPS+, Pierre is the very worst-hitting outfielder to have so many plate appearances in the history of the game.
- Across baseball history, there have been 5,073 instances in which a player has hit 16 or more home runs in a season.