Per an announcement from the FOX Sports Network, veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to serve as a full-time analyst for the upcoming season. He is expected to do color work and appear on the “MLB Whiparound” show.
Pierzynski, 40, spent each of the past two seasons with the Braves. While he was quite productive in 2015, he tailed off significantly last year. There were signs that he would likely call it quits, though that soon shifted. To this point, nothing had — or, still has, so far as we know — been formalized.
With today’s news, though, it seems safe to assume that Pierzynski will wrap up his career after parts of 19 MLB seasons. He has certainly enjoyed the kind of run that few backstops are able to pull off, having played in over 100 games in every single campaign between 2001 and 2015.
An exceptionally durable receiver, the left-handed-hitting Pierzynski also featured as a steadily useful hitter. All told, he has accumulated a solid .280/.319/.420 batting line with 188 home runs in 7,815 total MLB plate appearances.
Though he wasn’t always beloved by opponents, Pierzynski never had much trouble finding organizations interested in utilizing him. His longest and perhaps most memorable run came with the White Sox, where he was part of the team’s 2005 World Series winner, caught historic pitching performances from Mark Buehrle and Philip Humber, and picked up one of his two All-Star appearances.
Pierzynski also spent six years with the Twins — the organization that selected him in the third round of the 1994 draft. Some of those were among his most productive as a pro, and the organization was able to cash him in to the Giants for a trade package featuring Francisco Liriano and Joe Nathan. In addition to his one-year run in San Francisco, Pierzynski spent single or partial seasons with the Rangers, Red Sox, and Cardinals.
If this is indeed Pierzynski’s career terminus, as seems reasonable to assume, MLBTR extends him its congratulations and best wishes for the future.