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Magnus Pilegård

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Magnus Pilegård

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 194 lb.

Magnus Pilegård has been one of the best players in Swedish baseball. When he was a kid, he would tape the one baseball game shown weekly on Swedish TV (broadcast around 3 AM) to get his baseball fix. He debuted for the Swedish national team in the 1997 European Championship, hitting .455 as a teenager.

He came to the US to play college baseball with aspirations of becoming the first Swedish player to make it to Organized Baseball. In 2001, he put on a show as a college junior, setting the UNC-Wilmington career record with a 26-game hitting streak. For the year, he batted .339. He made All-Colonial Athletic Association as a catcher.

In the 2001 European Championship, Magnus hit .200/.500/.300 with 11 walks in 7 games, leading the event in walks; he threw out 4 runners in 12 steal attempts.

Pilegård hit .459/.508/.683 as a C-3B for the 2003 Sundbyberg Heat in Sweden's Elitserien. As a pitcher, he was 8-2 with a 2.14 ERA and a .204 opponent average. He led the league in average, was second in slugging (behind Per Lindgren), second in OBP (behind Lindgren), was second in RBI (34, trailing Lindgren), led in opponent average, led in wins and was second in ERA (behind Johan Tisell).

He struggled in the 2003 European Championship, only hitting .207/.250/.276. On the other hand, he was 0-1 with a save and a 1.04 ERA as a pitcher, with 12 strikeouts in 8 2/3 IP; only Magnus Höglund had a better ERA for the Swedes. His .107 average against was third in the tourney behind Fabio Milano and Petr Pacas and his K/IP rate was second to Silvio Censale.

In 2004, Magnus hit .478/.530/.739 and was 11-1 with a 2.04 ERA and .177 opponent average. He was among the leaders in RBI (36, tied for first), OBP (second to Tony Dermendziev), slugging (second to Dermendziev), doubles (16, 3rd), average (3rd), hits (55, 1st), ERA (4th), opponent average (2nd), wins (2nd to Tisell) and strikeouts (86, 2nd to Tisell).

Pilegård continued to shine in 2005. He batted .559/.631/.796 and was 7-0 with a 1.51 ERA. He was among the Elitserien's leaders in average (first by over 100 points), doubles (11, tied for first with Dean Lindberg), slugging (second), OBP (1st), strikeouts by a pitcher (43, 3rd), ERA (2nd to Kent Karlsson), wins (1st) and opponent average (.189, 2nd to Petter Vesterlund).

In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, the Stockholm native delivered a batting line of .250/.276/.357 as one of Sweden's top offensive producers. On the mound, he tossed 2 1/3 shutout innings; the rest of the team had a 10.40 ERA. In Sweden's lone win (over South Africa), he drove in 3 runs, scored another and tossed a shutout inning in a 10-4 victory.

Pilegård switched clubs from Sundbyberg to Stockholm in 2006. He hit .387/.478/.594 and fell to 3-5, 2.92 as a pitcher. He still finished among the league leaders in OBP (6th), slugging (2nd to Will Rikard), average (4th), triples (7, 1st) and ERA (6th).

In 2007, Magnus hit .405/.478/.613 and was 5-1 with a 3.29 ERA. He was third in average, tied for second with 6 triples (even with Håkan Börjes and Richard Leander), was third in slugging, 7th in OBP and tied for seventh in victories.

During the 2007 European Championship, he hit .333/.375/.500 with 5 RBI and a team-high 5 runs in 8 games. He was third among Sweden's regulars in OPS behind Peter Johannesen and Lindberg. He also led the team with 3 doubles while serving primarily at catcher.

Pilegård was used by Stockholm primarily at C and 3B in 2008, rarely pitching (1-1, 4.36). He batted .488/.535/.748 to finish third in OBP, second in average (behind Dennis Kelly), third in slugging, third in doubles (16), led in RBI (47) and was second in hits (62, 2nd behind Kelly).

Magnus hit .393/.472/.561 for Stockholm during 2009. He allowed 3 runs in 3 innings and was 0-1. He was 5th in the league in RBI (22), third in average and fourth in OBP. In the 2009 Baseball World Cup, he was 2 for 9 with a homer, 2 runs, 2 RBI and 2 walks to finish second on Sweden in OPS behind Adam Sorgi. His home run came off Brooks McNiven of Canada, which went on to win a Bronze Medal.

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