Pittsburgh Pirates UDFA Target: Catcher Jason Bush
The Pittsburgh Pirates did not draft a catcher this year. Could they instead look to sign a college catcher who went undrafted?
One position that many expected the Pittsburgh Pirates to address during the 2020 MLB Draft was at catcher. Currently, the team does not have a single catcher rated inside their top 30 prospects (MLB Pipeline). When the team ended up using five of their six draft picks on pitchers, many were surprised.
The one-hitter the team selected was New Mexico State infielder Nick Gonzalez. Gonzales was considered one of the most elite bats in the draft and he showed why this past spring. The Bucs new top prospect belted 12 home runs while hitting .448 over his 16 games played for the 2020 season.
However, there was another player on the New Mexico State team that should interest the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team’s catcher, Jason Bush, had a strong season and should be open to signing as an UDFA. Bush was playing his senior season for the Aggies before the season ended due to the global pandemic.
Unfortunately for him, he likely missed an opportunity to get drafted due to this unforeseen circumstance. He got off to a hot start, batting .283/.421/.522 with two home runs and five doubles over 14 games played. The most impressive thing is the fact that he walked 10 times and only struck out 10 times. This ends up giving him a 17 percent strikeout and walk rates, showing a good understanding of the strike zone.
Bush is also very projectable. He has an athletic build, standing at 6’2” and weighing around 190 pounds, so there is definitely room for him to add power. Furthermore, he is a left-handed hitter, which gives him a bit more projection.
One thing is that Bush is a redshirt senior, so he is already 23 years of age. Still, with it being such an odd time to add talent, the Pittsburgh Pirates need to take a shot at some of the available catchers. Bush caught for four seasons with the Aggies, has plenty of experience behind the plate, and seemed to be breaking out with the bat this year. Also, it may help to have Nick Gonzales with the team, which could help persuade Bush to want to join the organization.