Pittsburgh Pirates: Will Michael Perez Stay with the Organization?

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed a veteran catcher before the lockout went into place.  What does that mean for their primary backup from 2022?

When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Michael Perez, there was hope that he would be a part of the team’s future.  At the time of being acquired, he was 27 years old and was rated as a top 30 prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays Organization.  Unfortunately, things did not go all that well for Perez in his first season with the Bucs.

As the Pittsburgh Pirates secondary backstop to Jacob Stallings. Perez appeared in a total of 70 games while collecting 231 plate appearances.  Across the plate appearances, he hit for a .143/.221/.290 line, along with a .244 wOBA, and 38 wRC+. He was the second-worst batter in the MLB among stats like wRC+ and wOBA, and third-worst per OPS (min. 200 plate appearances).

While Perez wasn’t going to compete for any Gold Gloves, his defense was passable. He only had -1 DRS with -1.7 framing runs. In terms of keeping runners at bay, he had a 26% caught stealing rate, 1% better than average. Overall, he wasn’t hurting the PIttsburgh Pirates behind the dish, but he wasn’t exactly adding anything either with his defense.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Perez going forward.  The 29-year-old has 3 years of big-league control left which obviously is never a bad thing.  However, he was taken off the Pittsburgh Pirates 40 man roster before the lockout.  He did pass through waivers without being claimed by an opposing team.  So he will report to Triple-A Indianapolis to start the year.

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As of now, Perez looks like he will be the Pittsburgh Pirates third catcher entering the 2022 season.  The team has veteran Roberto Perez to start behind the dish.  When the lockout lifts the expectation is for the team to acquire another catching option.  If they can, then Michael Perez will slot in as the team’s first catching callup, and that’s not too bad of an option.