Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Potential Catchers In The Draft

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 29: CJ Rodriguez #5 of the Vanderbilt Commodores rounds the bases after hitting a second inning solo home run against the Mississippi St. Bulldogs during game two of the College World Series Championship at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 28, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 29: CJ Rodriguez #5 of the Vanderbilt Commodores rounds the bases after hitting a second inning solo home run against the Mississippi St. Bulldogs during game two of the College World Series Championship at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 28, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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OMAHA, NEBRASKA – JUNE 30: Kumar Rocker #80 of the Vanderbilt and CJ Rodriguez #5 of the Vanderbilt react after closing out the top of the fourth inning during game three of the College World Series Championship at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 30, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
OMAHA, NEBRASKA – JUNE 30: Kumar Rocker #80 of the Vanderbilt and CJ Rodriguez #5 of the Vanderbilt react after closing out the top of the fourth inning during game three of the College World Series Championship at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 30, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

CJ Rodriguez

CJ Rodriguez received for Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter at Vanderbilt. The right-handed catcher is currently ranked as the 235th best draft prospect by MLB Pipeline. While he isn’t too highly ranked, he’s still worth a glance during this year’s draft.

Rodriguez is more of a glove-first kind of prospect. Throughout 283 plate appearances at Vandy, Rodriguez had a .257/.389/.378 line, leading to a .348 wOBA. Still very solid numbers, especially for a catcher. Impressively, Rodriguez walked nearly twice as much as he struck out. He drew ball four 41 times compared to going down on strike three 22 times. Though this does come with the caveat of a .117 isolated slugging percentage and 17 extra-base hits.

Rodriguez has a 55-fielding and arm grade according to MLB Pipeline. Plus he was well regarded as a blocker and a game caller. Rodriguez’s eye at the plate will certainly make up for his lack of power. It’s also worth noting he was hitting the ball with more authority this past season compared to previous years.

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What also could make Rodriguez an interesting pick is if the Pittsburgh Pirates select Jack Leiter with the #1 overall selection. The Pittsburgh Pirates could bring in both Leiter and his batterymate. Obviously, they shouldn’t go completely out of their way to select him just because they may pick Leiter, but something to keep in mind.

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