Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Player to Watch at Each Level in 2022

BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 22: A detail of the 2021 MLB Grapefruit league logo during a spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles on March 22, 2021 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 22: A detail of the 2021 MLB Grapefruit league logo during a spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles on March 22, 2021 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /

Low-A: Catcher Geovanny Planchart

The Pittsburgh Pirates have many different backstop prospects. From Henry Davis to Endy Rodriguez and Carter Bins to Abrahan Gutierrez, the Pirates have made minor league catching depth a strength over the past year. That also isn’t considering Wyatt Hendrie, a 2021 draft pick, Blake Sabol, or Eli Wilson. Geovanny Planchart could be overlooked with all of them despite his fantastic performance so far in his young pro career.

The 2019 international addition has been great thus far. In 219 plate appearances, Planchart has hit .347/.417/.423 with a .410 wOBA and 136 wRC+. Planchart’s power has increased as his ISO rose from .043 in 2019 to .143 in 2021 but has consistently shown good plate discipline. He has a high-quality 11% walk rate and 14.6% strikeout rate.

According to FanGraphs, Planchart added 20 pounds of muscle. If he continues to add strength and power, he could have an excellent offensive profile of a guy who’s able to hit for average, but not just an empty average either—one who could hit for some power and get on base.

The catching position is a strength for the Pirates. With Gutierrez and Rodriguez moving up to High-A along with Davis and Carter Bins likely being the starting catcher at Double-A, Planchart has the position to himself next season at Bradenton. It will be interesting to see how he further develops. If he continues to hit well while sharpening his defensive abilities, look for him being a lesser talked about potential long-term option behind the dish.

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