Pittsburgh Pirates: Intriguing Non-Roster Invitees to Watch

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 22: Ji-hwan Bae #72 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians at PNC Park on July 22, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 22: Ji-hwan Bae #72 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians at PNC Park on July 22, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 18: Catcher Henry Davis, who was selected first overall in the 2021 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates takes batting practice on the field after signing a contract with the Pirates at PNC Park on July 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 18: Catcher Henry Davis, who was selected first overall in the 2021 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates takes batting practice on the field after signing a contract with the Pirates at PNC Park on July 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Catchers to watch

Catchers is the one position in camp where there will be highly touted prospects to watch, as well as players who could crack the Opening Day roster. The Pittsburgh Pirates are still in need of a backup catcher and if they do not add a catcher before Opening Day, odds are, the backup catcher will be one of Taylor Davis and Michael Pérez.

Davis and Pérez both saw time with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, with Pérez spending the entirety of the season on the active roster. While it would be presented as a competition between the two, odds are, Pérez will find himself as the catching tandem with Roberto Pérez if the Pirates do not add catching help.

The two catchers everyone will want to see in camp, however, are Henry Davis and Endy Rodriguez. Davis was the no. 1 overall pick in last summer’s draft and was 3-for-7 with a home run in the Florida Complex League. This led to the Pittsburgh Pirates having him skip Low-A and jumping straight to High-A where he posted an OPS over 1.000 in 6 games before injury ended his season.

Davis is arguably the best offensive catching prospect in baseball. He could reach the majors as early as next season. Pirate fans and brass alike are going to want to get a look at Davis in MLB camp this spring.

Rodriguez is one of the top hitting prospects in the loaded Pirate farm system. While he is still listed as a catcher, due to his athleticism and the addition of Davis to the organization the belief is he will play all over the field this season. It will be interesting to see what positions Rodriguez, who likely start the season with High-A Greensboro, is working at this spring.

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