Pirates Two Catchers Ranked on MLB.com Prospects List

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pirates are set for the 2016 season at catcher. And they might be set in the long-term if the MLB.com catchers prospect list is accurate.

Mike Rosenbaum writes that there are two catchers in the Bucs farm system that have made his top 10: Reese McGuire and Elias Diaz.

Francisco Cervelli is coming off his best season, but will be a free agent after this season if he is not given a contract extension

Chris Stewart just signed a two-year contract this offseason, so we know who the backup will be short-term.

Could Diaz or McGuire be in the 2017 conversation?

Diaz is obviously closer to the big leagues as he has been in the Pirates organization since 2009. He is 25 years old and now has a full season of Triple-A under his belt.

There is no doubt Diaz is ready defensively according to most scouts. But will the bat play out on the Major League level?

In his first full year at Indianapolis, Diaz put up an acceptable .271/.330/.386 split.  If he can replicate those numbers in 2016, the Pirates might have to consider him for the 2017 roster.

Diaz might get the opportunity earlier since Cervelli and Stewart will unlikely go the entire season without a DL stint. It would be a good time for GM Neil Huntingdon find out what he has with Diaz bat.

The 2013 first round pick is the more intriguing of the two prospects on the list.

McGuire is only 21 years old and his defense is as good as Diaz at this point. He will probably start the season at Double-A Altoona and we will see what kind of strides he has makes offensively. He did well towards the end of his stint at the Arizona Fall League in 2015.  A 2018 arrival for McGuire is not out of the question if his bat progresses.