Pirates Flashback #6: 1B Kevin Young

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history.

Today’s player is Kevin Young, who played first base for the Pirates from 1992-1995, and then again from 1997-2003.

BEFORE THE BUCS

Young was an All-American with the Kansas City Kansas Community College team, leading the league with a .477 batting average. He went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi before entering the 1990 draft.

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Pirates Flashback #5: OF Nate McLouth

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history.

Today’s player is Nate McLouth, who played from the Pirates from 2005-2009 and then again in 2012.

BEFORE THE BUCS

McLouth was drafted by the Pirates out of Whitehall High School (Michigan) in the 25th round of the 2000 Amateur Draft. He dropped that low because it looked like he was college bound, but the Pirates convinced him to sign with a massive $500,000 bonus. For reference, there were players drafted in the second round that year making less than that.

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Pirates Flashback #4: OF Chad Hermansen

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history.

Today’s player is Chad Hermansen, who played for the Pirates from 1999-2002.

BEFORE THE BUCS

Hermansen was drafted out of Green Valley High School by the Pirates with the 10th pick in the 1995 draft. He quickly rose through the Pirates’ farm system, reaching AA in 1997 and AAA in 1998. Despite being younger than just about everyone at his level, he hit at least 20 home runs every year of his development besides the abbreviated 1995 campaign.

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Pirates Flashback #3: LHP Mike Gonzalez

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history.

Today’s player is Mike Gonzalez, who pitched for the Pirates from 2003-2006.

BEFORE THE BUCS

Gonzalez was drafted in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Pirates. Though he cracked the majors with Pittsburgh, he was briefly traded out of the farm system. On July 22, 2003, he was traded with Scott Sauerbeck to the Red Sox for Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez. Nine days later, fearing the worst for Lyon’s elbow, the Pirates traded the duo back to Boston. They also included pitcher Jeff Suppon for Gonzalez, Freddy Sanchez and cash.

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Pirates Flashback #2: Kris Benson

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history.

Today’s player is Kris Benson, who pitched for the Pirates from 1999-2004.

 BEFORE THE BUCS

Benson attended Clemson University from 1993 to 1996, but he first cracked onto the national scene by pitching for team USA in the 1996 Summer Olympics. Benson won a pair of games during the Olympics, but he was hit hard by Japan in the semifinals and lost. Team USA eventually took bronze in the event.

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Pirates Flashback #1: Jack Wilson

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history. Today’s player is Jack Wilson, who played shortstop for the Pirates from 2001 to 2009.

BEFORE THE BUCS

Wilson was drafted out of Oxnard College by the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth round of the 1998 draft. He rose all the way to AA before being dealt to the Pirates in 2000 for Jason Christiansen. He made his major league debut April 3, 2001.

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