Feb 15, 2016

Early Nineties Mets Infielder: Bill Pecota (1992)

William Joseph Pecota was born on February 16, 1960 in Redwood City, California. The six foot two infielder was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the tenth round of the 1981 amateur draft.

He played in the minors getting to AA Omaha by 1985 making his debut in September 1986 one year after the Royals won the World Series. He played in 12 games that September batting .207. He was a backup infielder for the next four years, spending time between the Royals & AAA Omaha. 

He became the Royals regular third baseman in 1991 having his best season that year. He posted the league's second best fielding % (.983) making just four errors in 238 chances. At the plate he hit .286 with 6 HRs 23 doubles & 45 RBIs while stealing 16 bases. The following winter he was a throw in player, in the Bret Saberhagen trade, coming to the New York Mets for Gregg Jefferies, Kevin McReynolds and Keith Miller. 

The ’92 Mets lost 90 games, and Pecota saw action in 117 games, as an all around utility infielder. He backed up the infield of second baseman Willie Randolph, short stop Dick Schofield and third baseman Dave Magadan. Pecota hit .227 with 2 HRs 26 RBIs 13 doubles & nine stolen bases in 269 at bats. On September 26th 1992, in a 19-2 Pirates blow out over the Mets, the versatile Pecota pitched one inning of relief. The first batter he faced Andy Van Slyke, blasted a HR to greet him, but Pecota bore down and retired the next three batters in a row. 

During his career Pecota played every position, including DH & one game at catcher in 1988. 

The Mets did not peruse him after the season, and he was signed by the Atlanta Braves. In 1993 he batted .323 (20-62) in Atlanta playing in 72 games. He appeared in four games of the 1993 NLCS getting one hit in three at bats. He retired in 1994 after a nine year career, batting .249 with 22 HRs 148 RBIs in 698 career games played, with a .979 fielding percentage. 

Trivia: In 2003 Baseball Prospectus introduced PECOTA, a term for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, named after Pecota hinself. The saber metric system forecasts a player’s performance & is used in fantasy baseball.

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