Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Rum Bunter’s Top 5 Position Player Prospects

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 18: Catcher Henry Davis (R), who was selected first overall in the 2021 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, poses with General Manager Ben Cherington after signing a contract with the Pirates during a press conference at PNC Park on July 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 18: Catcher Henry Davis (R), who was selected first overall in the 2021 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, poses with General Manager Ben Cherington after signing a contract with the Pirates during a press conference at PNC Park on July 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Jul 18, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Henry Davis who was selected number one overall in the 2021 MLB first year player draft by the Pirates takes a turn in the batting cage before the Pirates play the New York Mets at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Number One – Catcher Henry Davis

Coming in as our #1 prospect, we have catcher Henry Davis. Davis was picked #1 overall in the most recent draft. The Pirates went under slot to get Davis, which ended up being a saving grace as they barely slid under the draft pick penalty line as well as helping them secure four total players who were projected to go within the first 100 picks.

Davis ended college batting .337/.435/.565 with a .439 wOBA through 428 plate appearances. He blasted 21 home runs while walking more than he struck out, having a 52/46 BB/K ratio. Overall, he had a 12.1% walk rate and 10.7% strikeout rate. Not only did he show his power thorugh his 21 long balls, but had an ISO above .200 at .228.

While Davis was always praised for his high power potential, he really put it on display this past college season. His last 228 trips to the plate saw him blast 15 home runs, have a .370/.482/.663 line, .410 wOBA, and .293 ISO. Once again, the backstop showed great plate discipline with a 13.6% BB% and 10.6% K-rate.

The slugger has gotten things started off with a bag for his pro career. He already has 6 hits in 5 games, and 19 plate appearances. Along with that, he has 2 walks and just 4 K’s. His 6 hits have yielded 2 long balls, 2 doubles, and one triple. Pretty decent work in his first taste of professional pitching, especially since he’s already at High-A.

There’s little to no question about Davis’ bat and power potential. Along with showing good plate discipline throughout college, he has a 50-projected hit-tool by FanGraphs. Both his game power and raw power were given 70-future grades by FanGraphs, making him one arguably the best power hitting prospect in the draft.

The biggest question will be how well he’ll be defensively behind the dish. Davis has struggled with higher-end stuff, according to MLB Pipeline. FanGraphs states that he has trouble blocking pitches because his large frame can get in the way. While he has the pure arm strength, the accuracy can get a spotty. There’s a lot of issues to overcome defensively for Davis, but he has the bat that he could split his time between first base, catcher, and maybe even left field from time to time.

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Overall, Davis should be one of the best hitting prospects in the Pirate system. He has pure raw power along with a solid hit tool. His final, long term, regular position may not be catcher, but you can’t rule that out just yet and his bat will be good enough to play anywhere.

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