Pittsburgh Pirates catching prospect Blake Sabol is having a terrific season with Double-A Altoona and is pushing for a promotion to Triple-A, and perhaps beyond
When people think of catching prospects in the farm system of the Pittsburgh Pirates their mind likely goes straight to 2021 no. 1 overall draft pick Henry Davis. When it comes to highly touted catching prospects that can play other positions people likely think of Endy Rodriguez.
However, there is another catching prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system that deserve attention. Like Rodriguez, he can play other positions than just catcher as well. This player is Blake Sabol.
Sabol has 109 plate appearances with the Double-A Altoona Curve this season. In these 109 PAs he has been one of the most productive hitters in the Pirate farm system. Sabol is hitting for a .320/.394/.546 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 161.
Sabol has walked in 11.0% of his trips to the plate to go with a respectable 22.0% strikeout rate. He has already hit 4 home runs for the Curve, collecting a total of 12 extra base hits. This gives him a healthy 11.1% extra base hit rate on the season. All of these stats were from entering play on Thursday.
While Carter Bins was promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis when Mike Perez had his contract selected by the Pirates, there was a strong argument to be made for that promotion to go to Sabol. Although, Sabol may currently be tied to Double-A Altoona until Davis returns from the wrist contusion he is battling.
With Roberto Pérez now set to miss the rest of the season following hamstring injury there could be an opportunity for Sabol at the MLB level this season. Mike Perez is what he is, an average defender with below average offense. Tyler Heineman, who was claimed off waivers earlier this week, appears to simply be Perez with better pitch framing skills.
No offense to Perez or Heineman but neither of these players appear to have a long-term future with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Due to this it could be smart for the Pirates to give Sabol a look in the majors later this summer.
If nothing else it seems reasonable that Sabol would be a big offensive upgrade over Perez or Heineman. Is it possible the 24-year-old Sabol’s bat will play in the majors? There is only one way to find out.
In addition to catcher, Sabol can also play first base and the corner outfield spots. This could prove to be important for him in the long run due to Davis and Rodriguez, as it will be a way to give him every opportunity to prove he can hit at the major league level.
For now though, the Pittsburgh Pirates need help at catcher. Sabol could potentially help fill this need. He at least has earned a promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis. Some people may be sleeping on Sabol but it is time for it to end.