Pittsburgh Pirates: Abraham Gutierrez Needs to Build on Strong 2021

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired four new catching prospects over the last year or so.  One of them put together a really good 2021 season to build on.

At the 2021 Trade Deadline, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired two catching prospects.  One of those prospects came from the Philadelphia Phillies in the form of Abraham Gutierrez.  The Bucs acquired the catcher in exchange for minor league left-handed pitcher Braeden Ogle.  It was a minor deal, but nonetheless, they were able to bring in an interesting catching prospect.

When the Pirates acquired Gutierrez, he was batting .288/.420/.429 with a .407 wOBA, and 139 wRC+. While he only had a .141 isolated slugging percentage, Gutierrez was an on-base machine. He walked 37 times in 219 plate appearances, resulting in a 16.9% walk rate. Even better was the fact he struck out just 14.2% of the time. Even though his ISO was not exceptionally high, he still showed projectable extra-base hit power.

After the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired him, Gutierrez upped his offensive output. He had a really nice debut stint with the Organization. In 87 plate appearances, the right-handed catcher batted .294/.448/.471 with a .438 wOBA, and 157 wRC+. Gutierrez kept up a similar 14.9% walk rate. But he increased his walk rate to 18.4%. Despite not hitting a home run, he still bumped his ISO to .176. Plus he had a solid 28% LD% compared to just 17.6% with the Phillies.

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It will be interesting to see how Gutierrez continues to develop over this upcoming season.  He will likely start at Double-A after spending all of 2021 at the High-A level.  If he does start with the Altoona Curve he could be a part of a catching tandem along with 2021 first overall pick Henry Davis. Obviously, this would be great to watch playout too for the future of the backstop position. If everything goes right both could be in play for the Big League roster by the end of 2022 or the start of 2023.

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