|Born: October 26, 1983
Height: 5′ 8″
Drafted: 6th Round, 177th Overall, 2005
How Acquired: Trade (for Ryan Kelly)
College: Alcorn State University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates acquired Wimberly from Oakland for RHP Ryan Kelly. Wimberly is a poor man’s Chone Figgins: a small (he may be as little as 5’6″), very fast player who gets on base, steals bases, has no power at all, and plays a number of positions. Primarily a secondbaseman initially, he’s seen significant time at short, third, center and left in recent years. Regretful at having traded Figgins away, the Rockies started grooming Wimberly for a super-utility role in 2008. He has good range defensively and an adequate arm, but his fielding and throwing haven’t been consistent. At the plate, he’s strictly a slap hitter and will frequently try to beat out bunts.
Wimberly debuted in the advanced rookie Pioneer League, where he was a little old for the league. He hit for a very high average, with no power and low walk and K rates. He played third, second and short, in that order of frequency.
Moving up to the high A California League, Wimberly continued to hit for average while increasing his walk rate a little and still seldom striking out. He stole 50 bases despite missing a third of the season due to a leg muscle pull. He played second exclusively in 2006-07.
Wimberly struggled in his initial shot at AA, with his average and walk rate both dropping off badly. He was also hampered again by a pulled muscle.
Back in AA, Wimberly had a much better season, hitting well and doubling his walk rate. He played second, short, third and center.
Wimberly was thought to have good chance of being selected in Rule 5 draft, but he wasn’t taken. The Rockies instead traded him to Oakland for Matt Murton. He returned for a third season in AA, but lost part of the season to hamate surgery. Otherwise, he had pretty much the same season as 2008. He played mainly in the outfield.
Continued to hit for average and get on base in AAA, again playing mainly in the outfield. Oakland had prospects Adrian Cardenas and Jemile Weeks in upper minors, which probably led A’s to trade Wimberly.
The Pirates looked at Wimberly in spring training as a potential backup in the middle infield and center. He got a long look initially, as Clint Hurdle made it clear he wanted somebody with speed on the bench. Wimberly didn’t have a good spring, though, and instead went to Indianapolis. With several infield prospects and Gorkys Hernandez in center, the Indians didn’t really have a role for Wimberly and he played only sporadically, mainly at second and in the outfield. His hitting fell off sharply, which included a steep drop in his walk rate. He went on the DL with another leg muscle injury in May, returned in June, then went on the DL for the rest of the year in late July.
Wimberly will be a free agent in the off-season. The Pirates have a lot of middle infielders and centerfielders at the upper levels now, so it’s unlikely he’ll be back.
|2011: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $145,000
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 7, 2005: Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 6th round, 177th overall; signed on June 18.
February 4, 2009: Acquired by the Oakland Athletics from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Matt Murton.
December 23, 2010: Acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Ryan Kelly.