The biggest position of weakness in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system is catcher. This is clear as the team has lacked it at the big league level for several years now. Yes, they had Russell Martin and Francisco Cervelli, but the team had to acquire those players. Other than Jacob Stallings having a positive impact last season, the Bucs have not really developed a productive catcher in years.
This has partially been because of the previous regime. In 2009, the team spent the fourth overall pick on Boston College product Tony Sanchez. At the time it was considered a reach, but still Sanchez was considered to be the top catching prospect the draft. Then, in 2013, the team used one of their first round picks on prep catcher Reese McGuire, who was also projected as the top catcher in his draft class. Neither developed to come close to that upside.
Other than those two, the team has not really invested much into their catching prospect depth. They draft players every year, but they have not really acquired a high upside catcher. According to MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Pittsburgh Pirates prospects list, there is not one catching prospect in the system that is worthy of top 30 distinction.
With the Pittsburgh Pirates needing a solid second catching option for 2020, they need to look to acquire that this offseason. However, they have done patch work behind the dish for several years now, the Bucs need to figure out a way to bring in an upside catching prospect as well.