Phillies Sign Juan Pierre
Outfielder Juan Pierre signed a minor league contract with the Phillies, which includes an invitation to major league spring training, Assistant General Manager Scott Proefrock announced today.
Pierre, 34, batted .279 with two home runs, 50 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 158 games for the Chicago White Sox last season. A left-handed batter, he hit .329 against left-handed pitching and .331 with runners in scoring position. Pierre made 152 starts last year, all in left field.
Among active players, Pierre has the most career stolen bases (554) and ranks 26th on the all-time list, three behind Davey Lopes. He has had nine seasons with at least 40 steals, including a career-high 68 in 2010. Over the last 11 seasons (2001-11), Pierre has the fifth-most hits (1,958) among all major league players, including four years with 200 or more hits during that span.
Originally selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 13th round of the June 1998 draft, Pierre has a .296 career batting average with 234 doubles, 86 triples, 16 home runs and 484 RBI in 1,751 games for the Rockies (2000-02), Florida Marlins (2003-05), Chicago Cubs (2006), Los Angeles Dodgers (2007-09) and White Sox (2010-11). As a pinch-hitter, he has hit .311 (28-90) and in 31 career games at Citizens Bank Park he has a .307 (39-127) batting average. Pierre was a member of the 2003 World Champion Marlins.
Our Take: Two season ago, Pierre stole 68 bases for the While Sox, last season he was down to 27 steals. He still hits for a decent average, hitting .279 last season and can play both center and left field. Pierre was once a top lead-off hitter in the game, leading the NL in hits twice and has led the league in stolen bases three times.
While he probably isn't an elite base stealer anymore, he can fill-in if Shane Victorino suffers an injury in center and also be a top-of-the-order hitter.
At Citizens Bank Park, Pierre has been very successful, hitting .307 and in 31 games he has 13 stolen bases. He has 39 hits and 18 runs scored in those game in Philly.
Pierre has been long rumored to be a Phillie and they finally get him. He is nice addition to the roster this late in the off-season, I can see Pierre making the roster, but at this stage of his career, we shouldn't be too excited.