37-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
The ageless Pierre reached the 20-steal plateau once again during his age-35 season, despite seeing career lows in starts (64) and plate appearances (330) save for his rookie season. He lost significa...
Juan Pierre Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1.6 million contract with the Marlins in November of 2012.
Pierre ripped a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning during Thursday's loss to the Braves.
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Juan Pierre: MLB Games Played By Position
Juan Pierre Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Juan Pierre: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Pierre, signed to a minor league deal last winter, was a tremendous bargain for the Phillies and for many fantasy owners. After being caught stealing 17 times in 44 attempts in 2011, Pierre made better decisions on the basepaths and was caught stealing just seven times in 2012 while racking up 37 steals as a part-time player. He continues to make contact at a high rate, which helps him maintain a solid batting average, despite a mediocre eye at the plate. Pierre signed with the Marlins this offseason and will likely be the team's leadoff hitter. As long as he keeps stealing bases, Pierre will remain a valuable contributor in fantasy leagues.
Pierre's primary fantasy value derives from his thievery on the basepaths, so his career-low 27 steals in 2011 yells caution. His lack of success early in the season seemed to shake his confidence, and so he only attempted to steal 15.1 percent of the time when he was on base with the next bag vacant. To contrast, that rate was 27.1 in 2010 and 32.3 in 2008. In addition to his shaky performance on the basepaths, his bat was inconsistent and his defense was abysmal, so the White Sox sent him packing. The Phillies signed him to a minor league deal this winter and will give him a chance to win their fifth outfielder job this spring. He should be good for a few stolen bases still, but he likely won't see a lot of playing time.
The White Sox acquired Pierre prior to the 2010 season for three things - leading off, stealing bases and scoring runs. He had a pretty good year if those are the only three factors up for consideration. He led off 156 of the White Sox's 162 games and got on base at a .341 clip. He stole 68 bags, a total that led the majors and brushed past his previous career high of 65, and his 96 runs scored ranked 10th in the American League. The White Sox will ask him to do the same three things in 2011, and he should be up for the task.
Due to the Manny Ramirez 50-game suspension, Pierre received more playing time than expected (380 at-bats), batting .308/.365/.392 with no home runs and 30 stolen bases. When he's in the lineup, you know what you're getting - a solid average, stolen bases, and zero power (he's homered once in his last 1,473 at-bats). The White Sox acquired him from the Dodgers in December and will likely accept his mediocre arm as their primary center fielder. Fortunately for fantasy owners, he's in a much better position to collect regular at-bats and make a run at another 35-40 stolen bases.
Pierre hit .283/.327/.328 with 40 stolen bases in 375 at-bats while maintaining his status as one of baseball's more polarizing players. Some (fantasy owners in particular) love Pierre for his speed and durability while others point to an utter lack of power (one homer since 2006), an unwillingness to take walks and a subpar throwing arm. Pierre has requested a trade and the Dodgers would be happy to oblige, so monitor the club's outfield situation closely this spring.
The Dodgers got exactly what they should have expected after signing Pierre to a controversial five-year, $44 million deal prior to the 2007 season - zero power, poor on-base skills and well below-average defense in center field. From a fantasy perspective though, you don't care about any of that. You're drafting Pierre for one category - stolen bases, and with 65, he more than delivered in 2007. Expect similar production this year and slot Pierre accordingly.
Let's start with the positive: Pierre has played 162 games four seasons in a row and stolen 45+ bases six years running. He's a good contact hitter, which along with his speed allows him to maintain a .303 career batting average. As for the negative, he has no power, his meager walk rate has actually declined over the last four seasons, and he's not a great base stealer in real life, averaging 20 failed attempts per year over the last four. But the negatives are the Dodgers' problem. As a fantasy player, Pierre won't disappoint.
Pierre lost a full 50 points off his batting average from 2004, and as a result went from being one of the NL's better leadoff men to just another slap hitter. His steals still make him valuable in most fantasy formats, and if his career pattern holds he's due to hit just over .300 in his first season with Cubs, followed by .325 in 2007 and around .280 in 2008, at which point he'll get traded and the cycle will repeat.
Pierre's season was a close facsimile to his 2001, only with a few more CS's -- maybe he loses a quarter of a step at sea level. He's solidly in the prime of his career, but a power spike for Pierre would be five home runs, so don't expect anything more than infield singles and steals.
Pierre thrived in his first season away from Coors Field, setting career highs in hits, steals and -- perhaps most importantly -- walks. In an era decidedly lacking in traditional leadoff hitters, the hard-working Pierre might just be the best of the lot.
It'll be interesting to see if Pierre's numbers are affected by his move out of Coors, considering he had no discernible power. Look for him to set a new career high in steals in 2003 though, as 'Whitey' Torborg attempts to recreate the success of the '87 Cardinals -- without the benefit of AstroTurf or Jack Clark.