Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date. One was actually a former player who returned, so it’s technically seven former players.
Jack Wilson, shortstop for the 2001-2009 Pirates. He was drafted by the St Louis Cardinals in 1998 in the ninth round out of Oxnard College in California. Just two years later, the Pirates acquired him on July 29, 2000 in exchange for pitcher Jason Christiansen. Wilson debuted at 20 years old in the short-season Appalachian League with Johnson City, where he batted .373 in 61 games, with 50 runs scored, 26 extra-base hits, 29 RBIs, 22 steals and a .955 OPS. He split the 1999 season evenly (64 games each) between Low-A Peoria of the Midwest League and High-A Potomac of the Carolina League. He did well at both places, though his results with Peoria were much better. Wilson combined to hit .319 in 128 games, with 91 runs, 42 extra-base hits, 46 RBIs, 18 steals and a .796 OPS. He began the 2000 season back in Potomac, but moved to Arkansas of the Double-A Texas League after putting up a .786 OPS in 13 games. He batted .294 for Arkansas, with 65 runs, 34 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and an .820 OPS in 88 games. After the trade to the Pirates, Wilson finished the 2000 season in Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League, where he hit .252/.325/.353 in 33 games.
Wilson began the 2001 season with the Pirates, serving as the team’s starting shortstop, while completely skipping over Triple-A. After hitting .155/.210/.241 through the first month of the season, he was sent to Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League, where he tore up the league, hitting .369/.430/.476 in 27 games. That performance earned him a quick trip back to the majors. He would finish up that rookie season with a .223 average, 41 runs, 21 extra-base hits (17 doubles) 25 RBIs and a .550 OPS in 108 games. He led the league with 17 sacrifice hits. He established himself as a solid everyday player during the 2002 season, providing the team with above average defense at a key position. He raised his batting average to .256, took more walks, scored 77 runs, and again led the league in sacrifice hits. He played 147 games and improved his OPS by 88 points to a .638 OPS. He finished the year with 30 extra-base hits and 47 RBIs.
From 2002 to 2007, Wilson played an average of 149 games a year, with a career high of 158 during the 2005 season. He hit .256 in 2003, with 58 runs, 21 doubles, nine homers, 62 RBIs and a .656 OPS in 150 games. His best season came in 2004 when he played 157 games, recorded 201 hits, 41 doubles, a league leading 12 triples, 11 homers and a career high 82 runs scored. He hit .308 that year, with 59 RBIs and a .794 OPS. He earned his only All-Star appearance and won the Silver Slugger award for National League shortstops. His offensive numbers fell off from that 2004 high in 2005, but it was one of the best defensive seasons ever (see below). Wilson batted .257 in 158 games, with 60 runs scored, 24 doubles, seven triples, eight homers, 52 RBIs and a .662 OPS. He hit .273 in 142 games during the 2006 season, with 70 runs, 27 doubles, eight homers, 35 RBIs and a .686 OPS. Wilson had a strong season in 2007, when he hit .296 in 135 games, with 67 runs, 29 doubles, a career high 12 homers, 56 RBIs and a .791 OPS, which was just three points off of his career best season.
Wilson missed the beginning of the 2008 season with a calf strain, and ended up playing just 87 games that year, hitting .272 with 24 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs and a .659 OPS. Wilson was traded to the Seattle Mariners on July 29, 2009, exactly nine years to the day the Pirates acquired him. The trade also included Ian Snell going to Seattle, while five players returned to the Pirates. At the time of the deal, Wilson was hitting .267/.304/.387, with 26 runs, 23 extra-base hits and 31 RBIs in 75 games. After the trade, he batted .224/.263/.299 with one homer in 31 games for the 2009 Mariners. Wilson played a total of 154 games over three seasons in Seattle, including the partial 2009 season, and part of 2011 before he was traded to the Atlanta Braves. Much of his time with the Mariners was spent on the disabled list, suffering four separate injuries. During his only full season in Seattle (2010), Wilson hit .249 in 61 games, with 17 runs, 12 extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and a .598 OPS. During the 2011 season, he combined to hit .243 in 79 games, with 25 runs, nine extra-base hits (all doubles) and 11 RBIs. His 2012 season with Atlanta was limited to 40 games, and he made just 14 starts. He hit just .188/.207/.223 in 57 games with the Braves over two seasons, before being released in late August of 2012. He also spent time on the disabled list with in Atlanta.
Wilson played 1,159 games in his nine seasons in Pittsburgh. He had a .269 average, with 508 runs, 217 doubles, 60 homers and 389 RBIs. He led National League shortstops in assists in both 2004-05 and putouts in 2004. He turned 255 double plays between the 2004-05 seasons. His 4.1 dWAR led all NL players in 2005, and it is rated as the best defensive season in franchise history. It is tied for the 15th best season in baseball history. His 18.3 dWAR with the Pirates is third best all-time, trailing only Bill Mazeroski and Honus Wagner, who both played much more time with the team.
Emil Brown, outfielder for the Pirates from 1997 to 2001. He was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 37th round out of high school in 1993. He decided to attend Indian River Community College, where in just one year he moved up 31 rounds in the draft. He was selected by the Oakland A’s in the sixth round in 1994. They lost him to the Pirates in the 1996 Rule 5 draft. He debuted in pro ball in the rookie level Arizona League in 1994, hitting .221 with 13 runs, three homers, 12 RBIs, five steals and a .710 OPS in 32 games. Brown spent the 1995 season with West Michigan of the Class-A Midwest League, where he hit .251 in 124 games, with 63 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 67 RBIs, a .657 OPS and 35 steals, though he was caught 19 times. He was injured for part of the 1996 season, but he did well in the High-A California League for Modesto, hitting .303 in 57 games, with 50 runs, ten doubles, ten homers, 47 RBIs, 13 steals and a .909 OPS. By selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, the Pirates were bringing him to the majors at 22 years old, with 217 games of minor league experience, and nothing above A-Ball.
Brown spent the entire 1997 season in the majors as per the rules of the draft, getting just 112 plate appearances in 66 games. He hit .179/.304/.284, with 16 runs, five extra-base hits, six RBIs and five stolen bases. He went to Double-A Carolina of the Southern League in 1998 to get regular at-bats. He hit .330 that year, with 89 runs, 31 doubles, 14 homers, 67 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and an .897 OPS in 123 games, earning a late season call-up to Pittsburgh, where he hit .256/.293/.282 in 13 games. Brown spent the 1999 season in Triple-A with Nashville of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .307 with 97 runs, 20 doubles, 18 homers, 60 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and an .868 OPS in 110 games. For a second straight season he received some big league playing time in September, though it amounted to just six games and 14 at-bats, in which he had a single, double and no walks. He started the 2000 season back in the minors with Nashville, getting brief call-ups in May and June, before coming up for good in late July. He had a .312 average and an .891 OPS in 70 games with Nashville. In 50 Major League games that season, he hit .218/.299/.336, with 13 runs, five doubles, three homers and 16 RBIs. He began the 2001 season in the majors, but hit only .203 through 61 games, before the Pirates traded him to the San Diego Padres for two minor leaguers (Shawn Garrett and Shawn Camp), who never made it to the Pirates.
Brown played just 13 games for the 2001 Padres, going 1-for-14 with a walk and two RBIs. He then played in Triple-A for four different organizations over the next three seasons, seeing time with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, St Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds. The 2002 season was spent with Durham of the International League (Devil Rays), where he hit .284 in 116 games, with 58 runs, 24 doubles, 12 homers and 58 RBIs. He played in the International League with Lousville (Reds) in 2003, where he hit .295 in 97 games, with 58 runs, 20 doubles, 12 homers, 63 RBIs, 18 steals and an .807 OPS. The 2004 season saw him play for Memphis (Cardinals) and New Orleans (Astros) of the Pacific Coast League, while spending part of the season in Mexico. His Triple-A stats show a .315 average and an .828 OPS in 45 games. Despite that long stretch in the minors, Brown had a breakout season with the Kansas City Royals in 2005. He batted .286 in 150 games, with 75 runs, 31 doubles, 17 homers, 86 RBIs and an .804 OPS. Despite the strong offense, his defense was atrocious in right field according to the metrics, which led to a season WAR of just 0.2, and a move to left field in 2006. He put up nearly identical numbers on offense in 2006 (with better defense), hitting .287 in 147 games, with 77 runs, 41 doubles, 15 homers, 81 RBIs and an .815 OPS. Brown then saw a drop-off in production the next year, with a 168-point drop in his OPS. He hit .257 in 113 games, with 44 runs, 20 extra-base hits and 62 RBIs. From 2005-07 with the Royals, he hit .279 in 410 games, with 196 runs and 229 RBIs.
Brown played 117 games for the 2008 Oakland A’s, where he had a .244 average, with 48 runs, 14 doubles, 13 homers, 59 RBIs and a .682 OPS. He then played his final three games in the majors with the 2009 New York Mets, who acquired him on May 29th from the San Diego Padres, and released him on July 20th. The rest of the season was spent with Portland of the Pacific Coast League (Padres) and Buffalo of the International League (Mets), where he combined to hit .258 with a .722 OPS in 75 games. He finished his pro career playing winter ball in Mexico during the 2010-11 off-season, putting up an .808 OPS in 52 games. He hit .205 with eight homers, 38 RBIs and 18 steals in 196 games with the Pirates. Brown was a career .258 hitter in 739 big league games, with 296 runs scored, 112 doubles, 59 homers, 326 RBIs and 52 steals.
Clyde Barnhart, outfielder/third baseman who spent his entire Major League career with the Pirates, playing from 1920 to 1928. He started his minor league career in 1913 at age 17, playing for Zanesville of the Class-B Interstate League. There are no stats available for that league, and he didn’t play minor league ball in 1914. He hit .254 over 77 games in 1915, with 42 runs, 29 extra-base hits and 11 steals, while playing in his first of three seasons with Frederick of the Class-D Blue Ridge League. He was also playing baseball at Shippensburg University during that time. Barnhart hit .335 in 61 games during the 1916 season, then followed that up with a .256 average and 27 extra-base hits in 90 games during the 1917 season. He didn’t play pro ball during the 1918-19 seasons, so it was quite a jump to the majors for him in 1920. Barnhart spent the 1919 season with a semi-pro team in Williamsport, where he was scouted by Billy Hinchman of the Pirates. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1920, and made the Opening Day roster, but he was shipped out to Birmingham of the Class-A Southern Association on May 1st without getting into a game for the Pirates. After hitting .322 in 131 games, with 25 doubles, 17 triples and two homers, he earned a late season look with Pittsburgh. He hit .326/.340/.500 in 47 plate appearances over 12 games. The Pirates took no time putting him right into the fire. He played his final game for Birmingham on September 20th, and then two days later he started both games of a doubleheader with the Pirates. On October 2nd, the Pirates played the third and final tripleheader in baseball history (rules in the CBA have outlawed this from happening again). Barnhart was the only player to collect hits in all three games.
Barnhart was the everyday third baseman in 1921, when he hit .258 in 124 games, with 66 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 62 RBIs and a .682 OPS, but he lost his starting job to a young Pie Traynor during the 1922 season. Barnhart moved to the outfield in 1922, where he had a .330 average, with 30 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs and an .828 OPS in 75 games. He didn’t get his first start until June 17th that year, but the strong second half led to regular playing time in 1923. He responded with a .324 average that season, finishing with 25 doubles, 13 triples, nine homers and 72 RBIs in 114 games. His .972 OPS was over 100 points better than the second best total on the Pirates that season, and it ranked him third overall in the league. Barnhart’s numbers fell off in 1924, batting .276 in 102 games, with 49 runs, 20 extra-base hits (11 triples), 51 RBIs and a 251-point drop in his OPS. He lost his starting job for a second time, and again it was lost to another future Hall of Famer (Kiki Cuyler). Barnhart became the everyday left fielder during the 1925 season. He had a big year at the plate, hitting .325 in 142 games, with 85 runs, 32 doubles, 11 triples, 114 RBIs, 59 walks and an .838 OPS, helping the Pirates to their second championship in team history. He hit .250 in the World Series against the Washington Senators, driving in five runs.
Barnhart had a knack for being replaced by great all-time Pirates, and the 1926-27 seasons were no different, although he had himself to blame the next two times. After his huge 1925 season, he hit just .192 in 76 games in 1926, watching his OPS drop from .838 in 1925, down to a .484 mark in 1926. Barnhart was never especially skilled in the outfield, so the Pirates called upon rookie Paul Waner to take his place. Barnhart was still around in 1927 due to the loss of two outfielders. He likely would’ve had the starting job if he came into camp into shape, but he didn’t ,and then rookie Lloyd Waner took the position from him. That gave the Pirates an outfield to start the year made up of all future Hall of Famers, including the Waner brothers and Cuyler. Barnhart eventually did get plenty of time in 1927 when Cuyler was hurt for a time, and then benched. He batted .319 in 108 games, with 65 runs, 30 extra-base hits, 54 RBIs and an .815 OPS. In the World Series that year, he hit .313/.313/.375 in 17 plate appearances against the Yankees.
Barnhart was hitting well in limited time with the 1928 Pirates, when they sent him to Indianapolis of the Double-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time) in exchange for young outfielder Adam Comorosky. Barnhart actually didn’t play much after July 1st due to a gasoline burn he suffered. He was hitting .296 with 30 RBIs in 61 games at the time of the trade, which ended his big league career. The Pirates sent him to Indianapolis with an option to recall him at the end of the season, which they decided to do, but he was soon sent back. On January 9, 1929, he was part of a deal to acquire pitcher Steve Swetonic from Indianapolis. Barnhart went on to play four minor league seasons before ending his pro career, with most of that time spent with Indianapolis. He played just two games for Indianapolis in 1928, then hit .303 in 155 games during the 1929 season, finishing with 31 doubles, 12 triples and 16 homers. He batted .307 in 1930, with 19 doubles, five triples and 13 homers in 123 games. His 1931 season was limited to 14 games with Indianapolis and six games with York of the Class-B New York-Penn League. He suffered a broken arm that kept him out of auction from early May until late July. Indianapolis actually released him four days after he suffered the broken arm when he was hit by a pitch. Barnhart finished up his career with Jersey City of the Double-A International League in 1932. He hit .319 that season, with 25 extra-base hits in 139 games. He was a career .295 hitter in 814 games for the Pirates, with 404 runs, 209 extra-base hits, 436 RBIs and a .776 OPS. His son Vic Barnhart was an infielder for the Pirates in 1944-46.
George Perez, pitcher for the 1958 Pirates. Perez played a total of four Major League games, all before the age of twenty-one. He pitched for the Pirates early in the 1958 season, making his last appearance on May 6th. In four relief outings, he went 0-1, 5.40 with one save in 8.1 innings. Teams were allowed to carry extra players on their roster during the early part of the 1958 season, which they had to cut down to 25 players within 30 days of Opening Day. Perez was a surprise addition to the team due to his lack of experience in general, and the fact that it all came with lower level affiliates. The Pirates signed him as an 18-year-old in 1956 out of high school in Verdugo Hills, California. Three teams showed heavy interest in signing him, but the Pirates came through with a $4,000 bonus to win out over the Milwaukee Braves and Boston Red Sox. He was assigned to Douglas of the Class-C Arizona-Mexico League that first season, where he went 13-5, 4.50, with 108 strikeouts in 146 innings. He moved up to Lincoln of the Class-A Western League in 1957, and had a 15-6, 2.96 record in 204 innings, with 168 strikeouts. It was said that two outings in particular earned him a spot on the 1958 Pirates out of Spring Training. He allowed one run over three innings against the Milwaukee Braves, then pitched two scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers. In both of those innings during the latter game, Perez gave up a lead-off double, but those runners never moved from second base. The coolness under pressure impressed manager Danny Murtaugh.
Perez threw hard and mixed in a curveball that had average results against Major League hitters. He season salary during his brief time was $7,000 (he only received the pro-rated amount), which was double his minor league salary. The Pirates sent him to the minors on May 10th, giving him a total of 25 days of service time in the majors. The Pirates finished in second place in 1958, which gave them a share of the World Series cut. The team voted a 1/4 share to Perez, which amounted to a $376.76 bonus. Perez went to Spring Training with the 1959 Pirates, but he was limited in his work due to a sore arm. He was sent to minor league camp on April 2nd, ending his shot at making the Opening Day roster. On May 13th, he threw a ho-hitter for Salt Lake City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. A seventh inning walk was the only runner of the game for the opposition. He finished the season with an 11-7, 2.55 record and 73 strikeouts in 159 innings over 24 starts. He served in the Army for six months during the 1959-60 off-season, and then he was optioned to Columbus of the Triple-A International League on April 20, 1960, eight days after the 1960 season opened. He stayed in the Pirates organization until 1961, before retiring after he was assigned to a new team and refused to report. He pitched just 11 games total over his final two seasons, pitching twice for Columbus in 1960, before finishing up with nine games in Class-A ball for Asheville of the South Atlantic League. Arm soreness and back trouble limited him in 1960. He had a 5.40 ERA in 31.2 innings during the 1961 season. Perez was actually traded to Salt Lake City in September of 1960 in exchange for Harry Bright and RC Stevens. He had a 47-24 record in his six seasons in the minors.
Kevin Hart, pitcher for the 2009 Pirates. Hart came to the Pirates from the Chicago Cubs at the 2009 trading deadline. Along with Josh Harrison, he was part of the return for pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny. Hart was an 11th round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2004 out of the University of Maryland. He split his first season between Aberdeen of the short-season New York-Penn League and Delmarva of the Low-A South Atlantic League. He had matching 3.71 ERAs in 14.1 innings in both spots, combining for a perfect 5-0 record and 32 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. He spent the 2005 season with Delmarva, going 9-8, 4.55 in 28 starts, with 164 strikeouts in 152.1 innings. Hart played the entire 2006 season with Frederick of the High-A Carolina League. He went 6-11, 4.61, with 122 strikeouts in 148.1 innings over 28 games (27 starts). The Orioles sent him to the Cubs as the player to be named later in a December 2006 trade. He went 8-7, 4.24 in 102 innings for Tennessee of the Double-A Southern League in 2007, then went 4-1, 3.54 in 56 innings for Iowa of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League later that season. He had 131 strikeouts in 158 innings. Hart made his big league debut with the Cubs in September of 2007, and gave up one run over 11 innings during his eight relief appearances. That success earned him an Opening Day spot in 2008, but it didn’t carry over.
Hart was with the Cubs until late April of 2008, then had brief stints with the club in early June and mid-July, before coming back in September. The Cubs had him pitching in relief in the majors, while also seeing time as a starter in the minors. In the majors, he had 6.51 ERA in 27.2 innings over 21 appearances. He did well with Iowa, posting a 4-2, 2.81 record in ten starts and 16 relief appearances, finishing with 63 strikeouts in 57.2 innings. He made three June appearances in relief for the 2009 Cubs, then moved to the starting rotation for four games in July, before his trade to the Pirates. He won three of those games and had a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings. He also had a 3.10 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 52.1 innings for Iowa. In his three seasons with Chicago, he went 5-3, 3.93 in 66.1 innings over four starts and 33 relief appearances. Hart was immediately inserted into the Pirates starting rotation after the trade. He went 1-8, 6.92 in 53.1 innings over ten starts to finish out the season. He started the 2010 season with Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, where he had a 6.75 ERA in 17.1 innings. He then tore his labrum early in May, which caused him to have surgery and miss the rest of the year. He didn’t pitch at all in 2011, as his rehab work got shutdown in June after feeling shoulder soreness. The Pirates dropped him from the 40-man roster after the 2011 season ended. Hart then attempted a brief comeback in Independent ball and winter ball in 2012 before retiring. He did well in indy ball, with a 2.25 ERA in 21 appearances for Southern Maryland of the Atlantic League. However, he struggled in Venezuela over the 2012-13 winter, allowing ten runs in 2.1 innings.
Mike Brown, right fielder for the 1985-86 Pirates. He was a seventh round draft pick of the California Angels in 1980 out of San Jose State University. He debuted in pro ball with Salinas of the Class-A California League, where he hit .263 with 24 runs, seven doubles, five homers, 35 RBIs and a .762 OPS in 47 games. Brown played for Holyoke of the Double-A Eastern League in 1981, where he batted .321 in 135 games, with 64 runs, 25 doubles, eight triples, six homers, 83 RBIs, 15 steals, 60 walks and an .835 OPS. He moved up to Spokane of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 1982, where he hit .284 in 134 games, with 74 runs, 30 doubles, 11 homers, 73 RBIs and a .791 OPS. He repeated Triple-A in 1983, as the Angels affiliate moved to Edmonton of the Pacific Coast League that season. In 115 games, he had a .355 average, with 91 runs, 39 doubles, 22 homers, 106 RBIs, 51 walks and a 1.047 OPS. That performance earned him a trip to the majors for a short time in late July, as well as a return trip in September. Brown batted .231/.279/.385 over 111 plate appearances for the Angels, with 12 runs, five doubles, three homers and nine RBIS in 31 games, while seeing time at all three outfield spots.
Brown was with the Angels for nearly all of 1984, debuting in early May after he posted a 1.050 OPS in 26 games with Edmonton. Serving as a fourth outfielder for the Angels, he hit .284 in 62 games, with 19 runs, eight doubles, seven homers and 22 RBIs. Prior to his trade to the Pirates in 1985, the 25 years old Brown was serving in the same backup outfielder role, hitting .268 in 60 games, with 23 runs, nine doubles, four homers, 20 RBIs and a .723 OPS. He was one of six players involved in the August 2, 1985 trade between the Angels and Pirates that sent veterans John Candelaria and George Hendrick to California. Brown was the everyday right fielder for the Pirates after the trade, and he did well over the rest of the 1985 season, hitting .332 in 57 games, with 29 runs, 25 extra-base hits, 33 RBIs and a .904 OPS. He struggled in 1986, hitting .218/.293/.296 in 87 games for the Pirates, while also seeing brief time in Triple-A with Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League, where he batted .379/.438/.506 in 24 games. Brown was released by the Pirates at the end of Spring Training in 1987. He split the 1987 season playing in Triple-A for the Chicago White Sox (Hawaii) and Atlanta Braves (Richmond of the International League). He hit .272 in 92 games that season, posting a .764 OPS.
Brown signed with the Detroit Tigers in 1988. He played in Triple-A with Toledo of the International League, before returning to the Angels. He batted .279/.338/.402 in 79 games with Toledo, then returned to Edmonton, where he had a .904 OPS in 33 games. He returned to the majors on September 1st, and ended up hitting .220/.235/.260 in 18 games. That was his only Major League experience after leaving Pittsburgh. He spent the 1989 season in Edmonton, where he hit .341 in 101 games, with 52 extra-base hits, 70 RBIs and a .971 OPS. He then finished his pro career with one season in Japan, putting up a .282 average and a .754 OPS in 70 games. In his five seasons in the majors, he had a .265 average, 105 runs, 49 doubles, 23 homers and 113 RBIs. Brown had a .733 OPS in his 144 games with the Pirates. There was a pitcher named Mike Brown, whose big league career nearly overlapped the Pirates Mike Brown, but they never faced each other in a big league game.
Chase De Jong, pitcher for the 2021 Pirates. He was a second round draft pick out of high school in 2012 by the Toronto Blue Jays. He went to the Gulf Coast League that first year at 18 years old, and he had a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings over six appearances. De Jong moved up to the short-season Appalachian League in 2013, where he put up a 2-3, 3.05 record in 56 innings, with 66 strikeouts, while playing for Bluefield. He played for Lansing of the Class-A Midwest League in 2014, where he had a 1-6, 4.82 record and 73 strikeouts in 97 innings over 21 starts and two relief appearances. He split the 2015 season between Lansing and Rancho Cucamonga of the High-A California League. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July of that season. He posted a combined 11-7, 3.43 record in 136.1 innings, with 129 strikeouts, putting up slightly better results at the lower level. De Jong played for Tulsa of the Texas League in 2016, where he had a 14-5, 2.86 record in 141.2 innings, with 125 strikeouts. He made one Triple-A start for Oklahoma City of the Pacific Coast League, and allowed one run in 5.1 innings. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners in March of 2017. He made five starts that season in Double-A with Arkansas of the Texas League, and another 15 starts with Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League. De Jong combined for a 4-9, 5.99 record in 112.2 innings, with nearly identical results at both levels. Despite the poor results, he saw four starts and three relief appearances with the Mariners that season, posting a 6.35 ERA in 28.1 innings.
De Jong was traded to the Minnesota Twins for Zach Duke during the 2018 season. He was with Arkansas at the time, putting up a 3.80 ERA in 120.2 innings. After the deal, he had a 3.20 ERA in 38.1 innings for Triple-A Rochester of the International League, while also putting up a 3.57 ERA in 17.2 innings over four starts for the Twins. He pitched one game for the Twins in 2019 and allowed four runs in one inning. He struggled in Rochester that year with a 9.73 ERA in 45.1 innings, then ended up pitching independent ball for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. He had a rough time there as well, with a 5.56 ERA in 12 starts. He saw time back with Sugar Land in 2020, posting a 3.18 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 17 innings. He then had a really poor showing with the Houston Astros, giving up 12 runs in 7.1 innings. He signed a minor league deal with the Pirates on January 5, 2021 and made four starts for Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, before joining the Pirates at the end of May. In nine starts in the majors, he went 1-4, 5.77 in 43.2 innings. He injured his knee in July and spent the rest of the year on the injured list. De Jong became a free agent after the season, but returned to the Pirates as a free agent in March of 2022. He made 42 relief appearances during the 2022 season, posting a 6-3, 2.64 record in 71.2 innings, while picking up his first career save. In parts of six seasons in the majors, he is 8-12, 4.88 in 169.2 innings over 19 starts and 47 relief appearances. His cousin Jordan De Jong pitched for the 2007 Toronto Blue Jays during his only season in the majors.
Dustin Fowler, outfielder for the 2021 Pirates. He was an 18th round draft pick of the New York Yankees out of high school in 2013. Prior to the 2018 season, he was considered to be a top 100 prospect in baseball according to multiple sources. Fowler debuted in the Gulf Coast League in 2013, where he hit .241 in 30 games, with eight runs, 12 extra-base hits, nine RBIs and a .657 OPS. He moved up to Low-A Charleston of the South Atlantic League in 2014, where he batted .257 in 66 games, with 33 runs, 28 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs and a .751 OPS. He split the 2015 season between Charleston and High-A Tampa of the Florida State League. He combined to hit .298 in 123 games that season, with 64 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 70 RBIs, 30 steals and a .728 OPS, putting up similar results at both levels. Fowler played in the Arizona Fall League after the season, where he hit .279 with two homers, seven steals and a .722 OPS in 16 games. He moved up to Trenton of the Double-A Eastern League in 2016. That year he batted .281 in 132 games, with 67 runs, 30 doubles, 15 triples, 12 homers, 88 RBIs, 25 steals and a .770 OPS. He moved up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League in 2017, and hit .293 in 70 games, with 49 runs, 19 doubles, eight triples, 13 homers, 43 RBIs, 13 steals and an .871 OPS. He was called up to the Yankees mid-season and debuted in right field on June 29th. Just two outs into his big league debut, he suffered a season-ending injury while going after a foul ball. While still injured a month later, he was one of three players traded to the Oakland A’s for pitcher Sonny Gray.
Fowler saw a decent amount of big league action for the 2018 A’s, hitting .224 with 19 runs, six homers, 23 RBIs, six steals and a .610 OPS in 69 games. He spent the entire 2019 season in Triple-A, where he hit .277 with 98 runs scored, 22 doubles, 25 homers and 89 RBIs, while playing in the high-offense environment in Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League. Fowler did not play during the shortened 2020 season, but he spent the season at Oakland’s Alternate Training Site. He was sold to the Pirates in February of 2021. He played 18 big league games for Pittsburgh, hitting .171/.239/.195 with three runs, one double and two RBIs. He was sent to the minors in early May, then got injured after 12 games. He was released in early August after playing a handful of rehab games at the lower levels. He signed with the Miami Marlins in August. He batted .295 with an .814 OPS in 28 games with Triple-A Jacksonville to finish out the 2021 season, but didn’t play in the majors with the Marlins, and became a free agent after the season. Fowler did not play during the 2022 season. He’s a .215 hitter with 22 runs, four doubles, six homers and 25 RBIs in 88 big league games.