The Pirates have hired former major league infielder David Eckstein to serve as a special assistant for baseball operations, Adam Berry of MLB.com was among those to cover. He’s now in the same organization as his brother Rick Eckstein, who’s entering his first season as the Pirates’ hitting coach.
This is David Eckstein’s first front office role since his playing career ended in 2010, though he has garnered some coaching experience with the Angels, Diamondbacks and USA Baseball, as Berry points out. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington noted that the “intelligence, intensity and a unique drive and energy” of Eckstein “will be an asset for our Major League team and player development system as a teacher and mentor.”
Now 43, the diminutive Eckstein was known for getting the most out of his talent during his tenure as a big league second baseman and shortstop. A 19th-round pick of the Red Sox in 1997, Eckstein began making his mark a few years later in Anaheim, which claimed him off waivers from Boston in 2000. Eckstein debuted in 2001 and enjoyed a successful four-year run with the Angels, whom he helped take home their only World Series title in 2002. He then moved on to St. Louis, where he played from 2005-07, earned a pair of All-Star nods and collected 2006 World Series MVP honors as part of yet another championship-winning squad.
Eckstein divided the final three years of his career among Toronto, Arizona and San Diego, finishing with a .281/.345/.355 lifetime line, 35 home runs, 123 stolen bases and 16.8 fWAR in 5,705 plate appearances.