Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jack Wilson - An Optimistic 2007

This is Part Two of an Optimistic Look at the 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates. Today’s section features Jack Wilson. Keep in mind that these are not my realistic predictions for these players. This is a best-case scenario, something for the hopeful fan to dream about as we approach the upcoming season.

Jack Wilson scores on an inside-the-park homerun on July 2, 2004

Jack Wilson had a breakout season in 2004, hitting .308/.335/.459. In the two seasons since, he has struggled with both injuries and an extreme lack of offensive production. In 2006, he put up another sub-.700 OPS while his excellent defense fell off to slightly above average. He attributed this to the extra weight he put on before the season in an effort to add more strength.

2007 will bring the return of the 2004 Jack Wilson. Jack’s biggest issue at the plate has always been confidence. He was confident in 2004 and hit just about everything because of it. He, along with many Pirates’ players, looks at the second half of 2006 and the addition of Adam LaRoche and truly believes that this team can play with the big boys in 2007. Any addition of confidence will dramatically help Jack Wilson produce at the plate. Don’t forget, this is a guy that had a career minor league line of .318/.375/.450 for an OPS of .825. He is capable of being a decent hitter.

As for Jack’s defense, expect to see it return to Gold Glove caliber this season. He is reportedly down to 185 pounds, or approximately 20 pounds lighter than he began 2006. This will improve his range and bring about the return of Jack Flash.

2007 Statistics: .302/.342/.435

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