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For years, Juan Pierre has given teams a boost in steals, a decent average and little else. Well, there’s going to be a new Juan Pierre and his name is Michael Bourn. Or maybe Willy Taveras was the new Juan Pierre and Michael Bourn will be the new Willy Taveras, or Michael Bourn will be the new new Juan Pierre. Now that that is muddled appropriately, let’s look at the new new Juan Pierre.

Michael Bourn will presumably bat first for the Houston Astros. A great place for a prospect that Baseball America pointed out as having the “Best Strike Zone Discipline.” Okay, not exactly Best Newcomer at the AVN Awards, but strike zone discipline is not a bad thing to have for a leadoff man. I’m talking to you, Granderson.

What made Baseball America bestow Bourn with such an honor? He had a career Minor League OPS: .855 (.426 OBP). To go hand and hand with his strike zone discipline, he has demon-like speed. In Low-A he stole 57 bases in 63 attempts – a success rate of over ninety percent. BTW, those 57 bases were in only 106 games. In one and a half years at Double-A, he was 68 for 84. Triple-A, a tidy 15 for 16. Last year on the Phillies, Bourn was used primarily as a pinch runner and stole 18 of 19 bags. In 119 at-bats in the majors, he registered a .348 OBP. Oh, and Bourn hit six homers in Double-A. Juan Pierre doesn’t have six homers if you combine ‘05, ‘06 and ’07 or almost 2000 at-bats.

Also, in this great featherweight match, Michael Bourn is more than four and a half years younger than Juan Pierre. Now nowhere will you find me endorsing you draft a speed-only type like Bourn, but if you find yourself in need of a quick boost of steals, Bourn will be drafted probably ten rounds later than Juan Pierre in mixed leagues. For that kind of value, avoid Pierre and grab Bourn.