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Entries in Pat Burrell (1)

Monday
Jan302012

Pat the Bat Calls it a Career

It's a sad day for Burrell's Girls: Pat Burrell has retired due to a lingering right foot injury, according to MLBTradeRumors' Tim Dierkes. The Bat, now 35, hangs 'em up with 292 career home runs and a 116 OPS+. That adjusted OPS ranks 24th among active hitters with at least 5,000 plate appearances, sandwiched between Matt Stairs and Carlos Lee. Burrell's best years came in Philly, where the number one pick in the '98 draft popped 251 of those homers and posted a 119 OPS+.

It looked like Burrell was headed for forced retirement following the 2009 season after he tanked as the Tampa Bay Rays' DH (81 OPS+ in 476 plate appearances). Tampa cut him after a dreadful start to 2010 (74 OPS+ in 96 PA), but Burrell rediscovered his bat and won a World Series ring by the Bay, putting up a 127 OPS+ in 560 PA with the Giants over the 2010-2011 seasons.

With the Rays, Burrell struggled with a neck injury and didn't put solid swings even on pitches thrown down the middle..

Burrell's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location with Tampa Bay, 2009-2010

But he found his power stroke in San Francisco:

Burrell's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location with San Francisco, 2010-2011

As a guy considered the best amateur player in the country when he came out of Miami, Burrell's 18.7 career Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement might seem like a disappointment. After all, number one picks are supposed to become superstars. But Burrell's career value actually matches up pretty well with that of other number one selections. Baseball-Reference's draft page shows that #1 picks reaching the majors have averaged 19.5 WAR (though the total will increase as guys like Stephen Strasburg, David Price and Justin Upton turn in star-level seasons).

It's a shame The Bat was forced to put his down before he wanted to, but he can be proud of his hitting exploits in Philly. Now, he can enjoy his nearly $71 million in career earnings in, erm, any way he so chooses.