Pittsburgh Pirates: Get to Know New Bucco Henry Davis


The Pittsburgh Pirates defied most mock draft and instead of going with a high school shortstop or a college pitcher, they went with the college catcher Henry Davis. 

The Pittsburgh Pirates wound up taking Henry Davis with their first overall pick in this year’s draft. Davis is a right-handed catcher out of Louisville, who has great power. This pick was a great pick for the Pirates as it gives them a clear top catching prospect, as the only one performing in the minors has been Endy Rodriguez.

Davis has been ranked as the number two prospect in the entire draft by FanGraphs, only behind Marcelo Mayer, and would be ranked as the 39th best prospect in all of baseball if plugged into the top 100 right now. This would also make him the top Pirate prospect over Nick Gonzalez.

Davis has a 70 power rating from FanGraphs and he really showed it this past season. Last season with Louisville, Davis was able to improve his home run numbers from 2020. In 2020 Davis hit 3 home runs in the shortened season, but he hit 15 this year. That comes out to a rate of 14.3 HR/AB versus 12.27 HR/AB in 2021.

Even more impressive than his power numbers is his ability to get on base. In the past season, Davis had identical numbers to his 2020 season in regards to average and on-base percentage. His averages sat at .372 in 2020 and .370 this year, where his on-base percentages sat at .481 and .482.

These are amazing numbers for anyone let alone a catcher, as it shows that he is able to get on base pretty much every other at-bat that he has. His on-base percentage is greatly helped by his ability to read the ball, as he had 31 walks compared to only 24 strikeouts this year.

While Davis has an amazing bat, he does have one red flag that may come up more when he starts playing in the minors and that is his ability to stay behind the plate. Concern has been raised as to whether or not Davis will be able to stay as a catcher, due to his framing ability and fielding ranking of 45 by MLB Pipeline.

Although there are concerns about him staying behind the plate now, others are saying that if robot umps are brought along into the MLB, this will increase the chance that Davis stays behind the plate and ultimately increase his value.

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While it is debatable at the moment whether or not Davis was the best player to take at number one overall, after seeing the approach the Pittsburgh Pirates took to the second day of the draft it is clear to see why drafting Davis was a key cog in their draft plans. Due to Davis being a player willing to sign under slot value, the Pirates were able to draft first-round talent with their following three draft picks which could make this draft a monumental one for the Pirates.