Pittsburgh Pirates Minors Spotlight: Catcher Endy Rodriguez

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Last month, the Pittsburgh Pirates made the second of three big trades they have swung thus far this offseason. This trade saw the Pirates send starting pitcher Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres in a three trade involving the New York Mets. In the trade, the Pittsburgh Pirates added five players.

One of the five players the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired in this three team was catcher Endy Rodriguez. When he was acquired Rodriguez immediately became the top catching prospect in the Pirate farm system and filled a big organizational need for the Bucs.

During the 2019 season Rodriguez played for both the Gulf Coast League Mets, as well as their Dominican Summer League team. In 31 games played between the two stops Rodriguez hit for a .294/.411/.510 slash line and a 159 wRC+ in 125 plate appearances.

At just 19-years-old, Rodriguez showed a great eye at the plate in 2019. He had a strong 12.0% walk rate and struck out just 14.4% of the time. Even though it came in just 125 PAs, this was still great plate discipline to see from such a young hitter.

The good plate discipline was nothing new for Rodriguez. Rodriguez also played in the Dominican Summer League during the 2018 season. In the DSL in 2018 Rodriguez struck out at an 18.4% clip and walked at an impressive 14.2% rate.

Prior to being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rodirguez was identified by Baseball America as a potential breakout prospect in 2021. So, it is not just the Pirates who are high on Rodriguez and see a lot of potential in his future.

This season Rodriguez should get his first taste of full-season professional baseball. Rodriguez seems like a safe bet to start the season with the Low-A Bradenton Marauders. In a best case scenario, the switch hitting Rodriguez will play at a high level with the Marauders and make his way to the High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers by the end of the season.

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Rodriguez will turn 21 on May 26th. FanGraphs gives him an ETA of 2023. While Rodriguez is still a few years away from making an impact for the Pirates, he is a prospect that many Pirate fans will be interested in keeping an eye on in 2021.