October is a boring time for a Pirate fan. Even the revamping of the teamís front office and management has come to a virtual standstill, at least publicly. The World Series started last night, but the coverage here, here and at many other places is far superior to anything I can provide. Desperate for anything interesting and Pirate-related, Coryís comment on Tuesday gave me an idea. He mentioned that Warren Morris was listed by Baseball-Reference as one of Jose Castilloís top comparables. I decided I would try to find as many players with Pirate ties that were connected to each other through the comparable player lists. Basically, I just plugged in a random Pirateís name and began playing my own stupid version of Six Degrees of Separation. Now, as a reward for visiting this site, you get to view my findings.
I started with Coryís example of Jose Castillo. Warren Morris has had the seventh most comparable career to Castillo. At the age of 26, Morrisí most comparable player was another former Pirate second baseman, Carlos Garcia (Randy also noted this in the comments section of my last post). Garciaís tenth most comparable player was Nelson Liriano. Lirianoís tenth most comparable player was Luis Sojo, who had 176 at-bats with the Pirates in 2000. Sojoís most comparable player when he was 33 was Einar Diaz, who spent 2007 in Indianapolis with the Bucsí Triple-A affiliate. In addition, Sojoís most comparable player at the ages of 27 and 31 was Hal Smith. No, this is not the Hal Smith who hit one of the biggest home runs in Pirate history (though not many seem to remember it for obvious reasons). But this Hal Smith did have three at-bats for the Pirates in 1965.
The next name I tried was Al Martin. His sixth most comparable player was former Pirate outfielder Bob Skinner. Number three on Skinnerís list was Orlando Merced. Martinís most similar player through the age of 26 was Moises Alou, who was a prospect in the Piratesí system before being dealt in the Zane Smith trade in 1990. Alouís sixth most comparable player through the age of 40 is Pirate great Willie Stargell. Martinís eighth most comparable player was the infamous Pirate Derek Bell. On Bellís list, I found Jose Guillen (fourth) and Matt Lawton (fifth). Also, his most comparable player was Gary Ward, father of former Pirate first baseman Daryle Ward.
Things got interesting (is any of this actually interesting?) when I checked out Nate McLouth. His fifth most comparable player was Ruben Mateo, who provided 33 at-bats for the team in 2004. Mateoís most comparable player at 26 years old was Midre Cummings, whose eighth most comparable player was former Pirate manager Chuck Tanner. Mateoís most comparable player through the age of 29 was Mike Kingery, and fifth on his list was R.J. Reynolds. Through the age of 32, Mateoís most similar player was Turner Ward, who became a local legend when he stormed through the right field wall at Three Rivers Stadium. Wardís sixth most comparable player was Jacob Brumfield. The most similar player to Brumfield was Luis Matos, who spent some time in Indianapolis this season.
Next up was Raul Mondesi, which led me to Reggie Sanders (2003 with the Bucs) and Kirk Gibson (56 at-bats with the team in 1992). Number four on Sandersí list was Jeromy Burnitz, and Craig Wilson showed up as Burnitzís top comparable at age 26.
There were a few other notables. Chris Duffy brought up Adrian Brown at sixth at the age of 26. Jermaine Allensworth was Brownís ninth most similar player. Evidently those centerfielders were as similar as we suspected. A search for Jack Wilson brought up Pat Meares, Wilsonís ninth most comparable player.
This was about the point where I got tired and quit. If you made it this far, congratulations. That was quite a bit of nonsense. I am sorry to report however, there there is no exciting conclusion or point to this exercise. It has simply been an excuse for me to discuss former Pirate players.