30. Juan Pierre (7.6)
Juan Pierre was a 5-foot-10, 180 lb. left-handed outfielder when drafted in the 13th round of the 1998 MLB Amateur Draft by the Colorado Rockies. Born on August 14th, 1977, Pierre worked his way up the minor league chain and made his MLB debut with the Rockies in 2000. He played three seasons in Colorado, leading the National League with 46 stolen bases in 2001.
Following the 2002 season, the Rockies traded Pierre with Mike Hampton to the Marlins for Vic Darensbourg, Charles Johnson, Pablo Ozuna, and Preston Wilson. Wilson was number 37 on our list, and Charles Johnson hasn’t appeared (yet).
In 2003, Pierre was the de facto leadoff batter for the Marlins, and he appeared in all 162 games for the first time in his career. He led the majors with 65 stolen bases and with 747 plate appearances. He slashed a healthy .305/.361/.373 line, topping the 200-hit plateau for the second time with 204 (he collected 202 hits with the 2001 Rockies). Defensively, he was eight runs better than “average” and posted a .993 fielding percentage. In the postseason, Pierre went 22-for-73, helping to drive the Marlins to their second World Series Championship.
2004 would see Pierre survive the all-too-frequent exodus following a promising Marlins season, and appear in 162 games for the second season in a row. He hit .326/.374/.407, with 45 stolen bases and 45 walks (to only 35 strikeouts) and league-leading figures with 221 hits and 12 triples. Pierre finished the year with a .995 fPCT, and ranked at league average with zero DRS. The Marlins closed shop at 83-79.
So, Pierre was pretty fast – check out the bunt double in the video below.
In 2005, Pierre again played in every game. He stole 57 more bases, and drew 41 walks while striking out 45 times. He slashed .276/.326/.354, taking a step back from his elite pre-2005 output. He still tripled 13 times to rank second in the Senior Circuit. The Marlins again finished above .500, at 83-79.
After the 2005 season, the Marlins traded Pierre to the Chicago Cubs for Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, and Renyel Pinto. Pierre played a season for the Cubs followed by three years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, two with the Chicago White Sox, and one with the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2013, Pierre returned to the by-then Miami Marlins for his final major league season. In 113 games he slashed .247/.284/.305. Despite being 35-years-old, he led the team with 23 stolen bases.