Steve Pearce or Jeff Clement: Who Will Be the Pittsburgh Pirates First Baseman?

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Steve Pearce or Jeff Clement: Who Will Be the Pittsburgh Pirates First Baseman?

On July 22, 2009 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Adam LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox, opening up the first base position. The next day they called up Steve Pearce and on the 29th they traded Ian Snell and Jack Wilson to the Seattle Mariners for Jeff Clement and Ronny Cedeno, creating a competition at first between the two college superstars.

Jeff Clement was named the everyday first baseman coming out of spring training, but the recent call up of Steve Pearce indicates that John Russell may be entertaining the idea of platooning these two.

The Chart before shows that their major league career numbers are very similar. However, Pearce's college career was a bit more impressive.

Player:     Steve Pearce      Jeff Clement

DOB:        04/13/1983        08/21/1983

Height:     5-11                 6-1

Weight:    209                   210

Bats:       Right                  Left

MLB avg.   .237                 .237

Power       42.75                31.29          (ABs/HR)

RBI         9.24                   8.42         (ABs/RBI)

Speed        5                        0

Fielding %  .995                  .995

SLG%        .385                  .371

K's/AB       4.44                   3.32

Range       10.96                 10.62

 

College

Ave          .348                   .315

HR            11.69                 13.82

RBI          3.69                  4.24

When you look at these numbers and the fact that Pearce bats right-handed and Clement bats left, you can only conclude that the platoon idea is the direction to go. However, their career numbers indicate otherwise. Pearce hits .298 against left-handers and .206 against right-handers while Clement hits .264 against left-handers and .209 against right-handers.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. At this point, neither player is showing Russell they belong in the everyday lineup.

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