Thus far in Arizona Fall League play, Pittsburgh Pirates catching prospect Henry Davis has been hitting for power while also getting on base at a high rate
There are few prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system who generate more buzz and excitement than catcher Henry Davis. This comes for good reason. After all, the no. 1 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft appears to be well on his way to becoming the long-term catcher of the future for the Pirates.
The 2022 minor league season saw Davis start with High-A Greensboro and finish with Double-A Altoona. However, due to injuries, some of which stem from him being hit by pitches as frequently as he is, Davis missed large chunks of the season.
This was a contributing factor to the Pittsburgh Pirates having Davis participate in the Arizona Fall League. Although, even without him missing time due to injury in 2022 he may have been an AFL participant anyway.
With a strong showing in the AFL Davis would likely solidify himself a being ticketed for Triple-A Indianapolis when the 2023 season begins. Davis has done just that thus far in the AFL, only further adding to the likelihood of him being one of the most exciting Pirate prospects to watch in spring training.
When he was on the field, Davis put up strong numbers in 2022. Davis had a total of 255 plate appearances in 59 games played between High-A and Double-A. In these 255 PAs, the right-handed hitting catcher hit for a .264/.380/.472 slash line. He drew walks at an 8.2% clip, struck out in just 20.0% of his trips to the plate, posted a 136 wRC+, and had a well above average isolated slugging (ISO) of .208. When healthy, Davis showed why he was the top pick in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Thus far in AFL play, Davis is picking up where he left off at during the regular season. Through his first 56 PAs in the AFL season Davis has been one of the best hitters for the Surprise Saguaros. Davis has been getting on base at a high rate, while also hitting for power.
Davis has hit for a .268/.429/.463 slash line through his first 55 PAs with the Saguaros. He has hit a home run, five doubles, and driven in four runs. Davis has also stolen three bases, while posting a strong 8:10 walk:strikeout ratio. In true Davis fashion, he has also been a bit of a magnet for the ball having been hit by five pitches.
The performance of Davis in the AFL thus far is a promising one on multiple fronts. First off, it is good to see Davis performing well at the plate and looking like one of the best on-base machines in the league. Second, just seeing Davis on the field, logging innings behind the dish and at-bats is good to see after an injury riddled season.
Davis is well on his way to building momentum and confidence entering the offseason. When pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton in February there will be few Pirate players that fans, media, the coaching staff, etc. will be more excited to watch than Davis. All signs point toward him being in line to make his MLB debut at some point in 2023.