Monday, November 29, 2010

One-Year Wonder Pt. 8: Pokey Reese

Every once in awhile, the Red Sox pick up a veteran player for a year, or just the stretch run that was a star at one point that I become fascinated with. It's a player that is basically only a role player at that point in their career, but may show flashes of their old brilliance. It's so unusual to see them as a member of the Red Sox, that I try to find as many of their cards as possible. This series will be about some of those players.

Pokey Reese was never really a great player, but I always liked him anyway. Reese was a very good defensive middle infielder with great speed. He came up with the Reds and was a highly rated prospect. He was rated so highly that Cincinnati balked at including him in the deal with the Mariners for Ken Griffey Jr. He never really developed into that great of a player, but he had his valuable abilities.

The Red Sox originally acquired Reese prior to the 2002 season in a trade with Colorado for Scott Hatteberg. They non-tendered him though to try to re-sign him for a lower salary. The Pirates though swooped in and got him, so he never played a game in his first stint with the Red Sox.

Reese spent two seasons with the Pirates before signing with the Red Sox before the 2004 season. He was a great defender with the Red Sox, compiling a defensive WAR of 2.2. He was valuable as a replacement for Nomar Garciaparra that year and contributed an inside-the-park home run among his three for the year, as well as making highlight reel catches. He was not much with the bat that year, but his speed and defense helped a great deal.

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