Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era: #7 Aramis Ramirez

6 years 559 542 76 316 .263 .747

Before being salary-dumped to the Chicago Cubs, Aramis Ramirez held down the hot corner for the Pirates for six seasons.  His first full season wasn’t until 2001, but it was a big one.  A-Ram slammed 34 homers and knocked in 112 runs while hitting .300 in 158 games.  His tremendous 2001 campaign is the main reason he’s on this list.  He followed up his monster season with a fairly disappointing year, but bounced back in 2003.  He nearly matched his 2002 numbers in the first half of 2003 and was traded, along with Kenny Lofton, to the Cubs in late July.  The Pirates received Bobby Hill, Jose Hernandez, and a minor leaguer in return, which resulted in a very lopsided trade.  A-Ram went on to have a successful stint on the North Side of Chicago and stayed in the NL Central when he signed with the Brewers in 2012.  Ramirez has probably been the best third baseman for the Bucs in the PNC Park era, despite just two full years with the team.  He’s gone on to be one of the more consistent third baggers in the NL, and is still producing at the plate.

Photo: terren in Virginia/Creative Commons

Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era: #10 Neil Walker

4 years 415 428 38 218 .280 .763

Despite just two full seasons in the league, Neil Walker comes in at number 10 on our Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era list. With the exception of Freddy Sanchez, Walker has been the Bucs’ best option at second base in recent memory. Some players that saw time at 2B over the years include Pat Meares, Abraham Nunez, Bobby Hill, Pokey Reese, Jose Castillo, Aki Iwamura, etc. Neil has already made a significant impact for the club, despite switching positions multiple times in the minor leagues. He’s held down a respectable .280 average and .763 OPS in his career. His defense continues to improve as well. Walker’s importance to the team really showed down the stretch when he was out with injury. He’s due for a raise in arbitration this year; he is still under team control through the 2016 season. We are a bit biased for the “Pittsbugh Kid’ since he’s a local guy.

Photo: Keith Allison/Creative Commons