- Full name Steven Wayne Pearce
- Born 04/13/1983 in Lakeland, FL
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School South Carolina
- Debut 09/01/2007
- Drafted in the 8th round (241st overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005 (signed for $40,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
Pittsburgh drafted Pearce as a college senior after he hit 42 homers in two years at South Carolina and turned down the Red Sox as a 10th-rounder in 2004. He has 64 longballs as a pro, including 31 in a breakout 2007 season in which he also hit .333 with 113 RBIs in the minors and made his big league debut. Pearce is an aggressive hitter with power to all fields. He always looks fastball first but has learned to adjust to breaking and offspeed pitches. He's a solid defensive first baseman with decent range, good hands and rare arm strength for the position. He has slightly below-average speed but good baserunning instincts and stole 16 bases last season. With Adam LaRoche at first base, the Pirates started to deploy Pearce in right field once he reached Triple-A. He's a little shaky in chasing fly balls, but he did show considerable improvement. Pearce's bat is ready for the major leagues. He just needs to show he can handle right field to open the season with Pittsburgh.
Pearce turned down the Red Sox as a 10th-round pick after hitting .346 with 21 homers for South Carolina's 2004 College World Series team, then batted .358 with 21 homers as a senior and went in the eighth round in 2005. He has continued to slug his way through the lower minors, leading the short-season New York-Penn League with 26 doubles in his pro debut and hitting 26 homers in his first full season. Pearce generates his power with bat speed and an aggressive approach. Though he looks to punish pitchers, he's also willing to take a walk. Pearce is solid defensively at first base, with decent range and soft hands. Pitchers can fool Pearce with offspeed stuff and he has particular trouble staying back against changeups. At 5-foot-11, he presents a small target for a first baseman. He's a below-average runner but will take an extra base on occasion. Like most of Pittsburgh's best prospects, Pearce will open 2007 in Double-A. That will be a good test after he has been old for his previous levels. The Pirates lack power on their major league club, so an opportunity awaits when he's ready.
After batting .346-21-70 for South Carolina's 2004 College World Series team, Pearce turned down the Red Sox as a 10th-round pick. He gambled he'd do better in 2005, and he did go in the eighth round after hitting .358-21-63. While he moved up in the draft, he probably lost money because he accepted a $40,000 bonus as a senior with little leverage. Pearce's bat is his ticket. He can hit and has plenty of raw power, generating good bat speed with a short righthanded stroke. He led the short-season New York-Penn League with 26 doubles in his pro debut. Pearce doesn't run particularly well. The knock against him defensively is that he presents a small target for infielders as a 5-foot-11 first baseman. However, Pearce shows good agility around the bag and his reactions are good enough that he was able to see considerable action at third base during his college career. Some teams thought he might have the potential to catch, but Pittsburgh has no immediate plans to try him behind the plate. Pearce probably will open 2006 at low Class A Hickory.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008
- Rated Best Power Hitter in the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008