Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time Top 100: 49. Jack Wilson

Jack Wilson is a 6’ shortstop from Westlake Village, CA. The righthander, born December 29, 1977, was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth round of the 1998 amateur entry draft with the 258th overall pick. He played with the Johnson City Cardinals later that year, in the rookie level Appalachian League, where he hit .373 in 61 games. He split 1999 between the Peoria Chiefs in the “A” level Midwest League (64 games, .343) and the Potomac Cannons of the “A+” level Carolina League (64 games, .296).

After beginning the 2000 campaign with the Cannons (13 games, .277), Wilson was promoted to the “AA” level Arkansas Travelers in the Texas League (88 games, .294). On July 29th, the Cards sent him off to the Pirates for pitcher Jason Christiansen. After getting assigned to the “AA” level Altoona Curve in the Eastern League, he hit .252 over 33 games.

In 2001, Wilson started the season on the Pirates opening day roster. Over the course of the season, he hit .223 in 108 contests with 44 runs and 17 doubles. He also spent a portion of the season with the “AAA” level Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .369 over 27 games. Even though he only appeared in 2/3rds of the Pirates games, he still managed to lead the NL with 17 sacrifice hits. The Pirates batted him second and eighth in the order. On June 14th, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, he went 3-for-5 with a double and a home run as the Pirates fell, 6-4. Pittsburgh finished last in the NL Central with a 62-100 record, 31 games behind the division leading Houston Astros.

2002 would see Wilson bring his average up to .252 over 147 games, with 22 doubles, 47 RBI and another NL leading 17 sacrifice hits. He mostly batted second in the order, occasionally holding down the eight slot. On August 17th, he accounted for most of Pittsburgh’s offense in a 5-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and three RBI. The Pirates improved to 72-89, but still missed out on the division title by 24.5 games to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2003, Wilson hit .256 with nine home runs and a career high 62 RBI. He batted second, seventh, and eighth on the lineup card. On June 14th, he went 4-for-6 with three doubles and three RBI as the Pirates defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 12-9. On August 28th, he collected four RBI with a three run double and a sacrifice fly in a 5-0 win against the Florida Marlins. 75-87 had the Pirates finishing in fourth place again, 13 games behind the Steve Bartman cursed Chicago Cubs.

2004 would see Wilson enjoy a career year, earning the Silver Slugger Award for NL shortstops and his first all-star appearance. He hit career highs with a .308 batting average, 82 runs, 41 doubles, and an NL leading 12 triples, also swatting 11 round-trippers and 59 RBI. He ranked third in the league with 201 hits, batting second. On May 11th, he went 4-for-6 with a walk, three runs, a triple and a stolen base in a 15-10, 12-inning victory over the Colorado Rockies. The Bucs finished fifth in the division at 72-89, 32.5 games behind the Cardinals.

Wilson hit .257 in 2005 with eight home runs and 52 RBI. Pittsburgh batted him eighth most of the season, with a handful of starts in his familiar number two position. He collected a career high five RBI on July 9th in an 11-4 win over the New York Mets, scoring two runs and clocking a round-tripper, going 3-for-5 in the process. Pittsburgh finished dead last in the NL Central at 67-95, 33 games behind the Cardinals.

In 2006, Wilson hit .273 over 142 games with 27 doubles, eight home runs, and 35 RBI. His average, recovered almost 20 points, had the Pirates move him back to the two slot. Pittsburgh finished 16.5 games behind the Cardinals, at 67-95 and mired in fifth place.

2007 would see Wilson hit .296 in 135 contests. He hit 29 doubles, a career high 12 home runs, and 56 RBI batting second and eighth in the lineup. On September 5th, he helped the Pirates defeat St. Louis 8-2 by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Later on September 15th, he went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI in a 9-7 loss to the Houston Astros. Pittsburgh posted a 68-94 record, last place in the division and 17 games behind the Cubs.

In 2008, Wilson hit .272 over 87 games batting in first, second, eighth, and ninth (yes ninth) in the order. The Pirates went 67-95. He appeared with Pittsburgh in 75 contests the following season, hitting .267 with 31 RBI. Nine years to the day after trading for him, the Pirates traded him to the Seattle Mariners with pitcher Ian Snell for pitcher Nathan Adcock, middle infielder Ronny Cedeno, first baseman Jeff Clement, and minor leaguers Brett Lorin and Aaron Pribanic.

After playing for the Mariners (three seasons, 154 games, .243, 33 RBI), Wilson joined the Atlanta Braves for two seasons ( 57 games, .188). Atlanta released him on August 31st, 2012. He is currently still a free agent.

All-Time Statline: nine seasons, 1159 games, .269/.311/.376, 1158-for-4305, 508 runs, 217 doubles, 32 triples, 60 home runs, 389 RBI, 36 stolen bases, 245 walks, 516 strikeouts, 19.4 wins above replacement.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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