Steve Pearce
Steve Pearce
36-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Boston Red Sox
60-Day IL
Injury Knee
Est. Return 2/1/2020
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Heading into 2018, Pearce was in line for yet another season as a platoon option for the Blue Jays. He found success in that role, slashing .291/.349/.519 with four homers and 16 RBI in 86 plate appearances compiled around an oblique injury that kept him sidelined for a month and a half. Despite the injury woes, the Red Sox traded for him to shore up their depth chart at first base behind Mitch Moreland. Pearce thrived in Boston, bashing seven homers, driving in 26 runs and producing a .901 OPS in 165 plate appearances prior to his postseason heroics. Pearce’s OPS against lefties over the last three years is over 120 points higher than his mark against righties, and he will continue to play primarily against southpaws after re-upping with Boston. Although that role doesn’t scream fantasy relevance, he's hit double-digit home runs in each of the past five years, giving him some utility in deeper leagues. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $6.25 million contract with the Red Sox in November of 2018.
Ponders retirement
1BBoston Red Sox
Knee
September 29, 2019
Pearce (knee) is considering retirement after 13 seasons, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Pearce, the reigning World Series MVP, has been limited to 29 games this season due to back and knee injuries.
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
1
7
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
2
3
2
3
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+7%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+14%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+5%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .801 261 30 11 31 0 .249 .333 .467
Since 2017vs Right .748 436 52 14 57 0 .255 .328 .420
2019vs Left .538 42 5 1 3 0 .200 .238 .300
2019vs Right .474 56 4 0 6 0 .163 .250 .224
2018vs Left .959 120 16 5 20 0 .304 .400 .559
2018vs Right .828 131 19 6 22 0 .265 .359 .469
2017vs Left .730 99 9 5 8 0 .207 .293 .437
2017vs Right .767 249 29 8 29 0 .270 .329 .438
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+5%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+83%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+10%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .748 311 36 12 46 0 .233 .312 .436
Since 2017Away .783 386 46 13 42 0 .269 .345 .439
2019Home .334 37 3 0 3 0 .114 .162 .171
2019Away .610 61 6 1 6 0 .222 .295 .315
2018Home .940 109 16 6 22 0 .277 .376 .564
2018Away .851 142 19 5 20 0 .289 .380 .471
2017Home .721 165 17 6 21 0 .233 .303 .418
2017Away .788 183 21 7 16 0 .269 .333 .455
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Stat Review
How does Steve Pearce compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.23
 
BB Rate
7.1%
 
K Rate
31.6%
 
BABIP
.259
 
ISO
.079
 
AVG
.180
 
OBP
.245
 
SLG
.258
 
OPS
.503
 
wOBA
.230
 
Exit Velocity
88.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
27.1%
 
Barrels/PA
2.0%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
Injuries limited Pearce for the second straight season, as his recovery from elbow surgery impacted his workload during spring training, before calf, knee, and an eventual season-ending back injury all chipped away at his availability and effectiveness. Of the 95 games he played last season, 85 came in left field, which is the most likely path to a regular role for Pearce in 2018 as he plays out the final season of a two-year deal with the Jays. Turning 35 in April, the right-handed hitting Pearce has 20-plus homer pop if he's able to rack up enough playing time, but he's never reached 400 plate appearances as a big-league player. In addition to injury concerns, Pearce's career output against lefties (.837 OPS) still exceeds his output against righties (.735 OPS) despite near-even splits last season, leaving him likely to find himself on the short side of a platoon with newly-acquired lefty Curtis Granderson.
Pearce silenced doubters with a productive, though injury-shortened, 2016 season. The Rays plugged the 33-year-old in at several different positions throughout the season, and he was slashing .309/.388/.520 with 10 home runs in 60 games when he was traded to the Orioles in early August. He saw inconsistent playing time in a utility role for the O's before being placed on the disabled list late in the year. He finished the year with a solid 136 wRC+ between the two clubs. Pearce had surgery in September to repair the flexor mass tendon in his elbow, and he should be ready for the start of the season. The Blue Jays signed Pearce to a two-year deal early in the offseason. It is possible that he opens the year as the everyday left fielder, but another acquisition could force him into the short side of a platoon (130 career wRC+ against LHP, 100 wRC+ against RHP).
Pearce seemed like a can't miss post-hype sleeper last year after his breakout 2014 season. The follow-up to that success was Pearce's dud of a 2015 season and he eventually fell back into a part-time role. There is a possibility that 2014 was a career year. Pearce still hit a healthy amount of home runs given his limited at-bats, but he took a major step backward in his hitting. He generated a 30.1 hard-hit percentage, indicating a step back in the quality of his contact. That same number was in the mid-30s in each of the three prior seasons, so it was no surprise that Pearce's .232 BABIP in 2015 was 90 points behind that of the previous season. Pearce entered free agency over the offseason, but there was no guarantee he would find every day at-bats wherever he lands. His power numbers are a safe bet, but his ceiling as a contact hitter is limited.
At age 31, Pearce finally received his first prolonged opportunity as a near-everyday player for the Orioles. Previously labeled as a Quad-A player, Pearce's raw power turned into 21 homers in just 383 plate appearances, and he posted steady numbers in the second half (.265/.362/.543) following a first half that was fueled by an excellent June (.361/.432/.667). There is enough swing and miss in Pearce's game (20.0% K%) to bank on an average much closer to his .255 career mark than the .293 he delivered last season, but he's always shown a good eye at the plate (9.8% BB%), and he wasn't overmatched by right-handed pitching. Playing time may be more difficult for Pearce to come by in 2015, depending on the Orioles' offseason acquisitions and the health of Chris Davis and Manny Machado as the team's primary corner infielders. At the very least, he should get regular starts against lefties, and similar power production is a reasonable expectation if he can approach 400 plate appearances again.
Pearce battled wrist issues for nearly half of the 2013 season, but he got chances at regular playing time and did not produce much despite the opportunity. Pearce's line drive rate is just over 17% over the last two seasons and his .160 ISO in 2013 shows he does not do enough against big league pitching despite a strong raw power tool. Nonetheless, the Orioles are bringing Pearce back to compete for a platoon or reserve role with at-bats in left field and at DH hanging in the balance if he shows signs of being a late bloomer.
Pearce bounced around in 2012, changing hands five times while the Orioles reacquired him at the very end of the season to give him a chance to compete for a role in 2013. While logging 28 games with the Orioles earlier in the season, it looked like Pearce was ready to grab the vacant left field job. Pearce's raw power has not been realized at the MLB level, disappointing with 13 home runs in 624 career at-bats. Pearce simply has not proven he can handle MLB pitching, though he did have a .318/.419/.568 line in Triple-A throughout 192 at-bats in 2012. He will have a difficult time making the Orioles unless injuries pave the way.
Pearce hit just .202/.260/.255 with Pittsburgh last year. He'll likely add depth at Triple-A, but he could contend for a utility role and could find playing time if Justin Morneau isn't able to return from concussion issues. He's never turned his strong on-base skills in the minors into production in the majors, but there's still time at age 29 for him to carve out a steady major league role.
It finally looked like Pearce belonged in a major league uniform in 2010, at least until he suffered a high ankle sprain in May. After coming back from that injury, Pearce hurt his knee and subsequently underwent season-ending surgery. He was added to the Pirates' 40-man roster in the offseason, but where he stands within the organization is anyone's guess. Pearce batted .326/.424/.535 in 129 Triple-A at-bats, though he's had success in the high minors before. Space at first base and in the outfield is becoming more and more limited these days in Pittsburgh, and the right-handed Pearce will have to hope for a platoon at first base to get another crack in the majors.
Pearce didn't look quite as overmatched in 2009 as he did in 2008, but that's about as good as it gets for the smallish first baseman. He finally got his first extended looks, with starter Adam LaRoche leaving and then supposed September callup, Jeff Clement, going out with an oblique injury. Things didn't go Pearce's way, however, as he hit just .206/.296/.370 in 165 at-bats. Breaking pitches continue to give Pearce problems and until he learns to lay off pitches outside of the strike zone, there's little reason to keep him on fantasy radars. His minor league player of the year campaign of 2007 seems like a long, long time ago.
Pearce's prospect bubble burst in 2008 and it took much of the season for him to find his bearings before recovering somewhat in September. The stout right-handed hitter probably wasn't quite as good as his 2007 minor league player of the year award suggested, but the .333 batting average and 33 homers were hard to ignore. Last year, after struggling to a .248/.294/.422 Triple-A line, Pearce made his way to the offensively-starved Pirates following the trade deadline. He failed to produce and was benched until Nyjer Morgan was injured. Pearce then took advantage of the last 10 days of the season, knocking three home runs to help salvage a disappointing campaign. The 26-year-old still has a window of opportunity until the Pirates recall Andrew McCutchen, but he'll have to have a strong spring training to regain some trust within the Pittsburgh organization.
Pearce proved to be the white knight in an otherwise barren farm system for the Pirates in 2007. Yes, he's old for an impact rookie at 25, but his numbers are oh-so-nice. Pearce was named Minor League Baseball's Player of the Year, batting a combined .330 between High-A Lynchburg and Double-A Altoona. Pearce ranked third among all minor leaguers in total bases (303), fourth in RBI (113), fifth in extra-base hits (75), fifth in slugging percentage (.622) and tied for seventh in home runs (31). He also held his own after the Pirates called him up in September, posting a .294 average. The smallish power hitter (he's 5-foot-11, 205 pounds) also put up a decent BB:K ratio of 39:57 last year, another good sign. The outfield is crowded in Pittsburgh, but even the Pirates will likely find a way to fit the promising Pearce into their starting lineup on a regular basis. Watch him closely in spring training and be ready to pounce.
Pearce batted a combined .273 with 26 homers and 98 RBI between Low-A Hickory and High-A Lynchburg in 2006. The Pirates face a dearth of power-hitting prospects, which in and of itself elevates Pearce to a higher status within the organization. Pittsburgh's third-round draft pick in 2005, Pearce will need to produce some power numbers at Double-A in 2007 to maintain his track to the big leagues.
More Fantasy News
Transferred to 60-day IL
1BBoston Red Sox
Knee
August 11, 2019
ANALYSIS
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Suffers partially torn PCL
1BBoston Red Sox
Knee
August 10, 2019
Pearce suffered a partially torn PCL but will not require surgery, Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Unable to run consistently
1BBoston Red Sox
Back
July 27, 2019
Pearce (back/knee) is currently unable to run consistently at this point in his rehab process, Bill Koch of The Providence Journal reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not close to returning
1BBoston Red Sox
Back
July 18, 2019
Manager Alex Cora suggested Pearce (back/knee) is not close to returning from the injured list, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports.
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Expects to miss another month
1BBoston Red Sox
Back
July 2, 2019
Pearce (back) is expected to miss another month after injuring his knee in a recent rehab game, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
ANALYSIS
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