Pittsburgh Pirates 2023 Opening Day Roster Prediction Version 3.0
Catchers - Austin Hedges, Tyler Heineman
This is a projection that has not changed since the last roster projection and it is one that is unlikely to change. Barring something unforeseen, Austin Hedges and Tyler Heineman will be the catching duo for the Pirates on Opening Day.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Hedges on December 20th he immediately became the team's top catcher. Signing Hedges in free agency came shortly after the team has re-signed Heineman to a minor league deal.
Heineman's minor league deal includes an invite to spring training. Last season, Heineman played in 52 games with the Pirates. He also played in 10 games with the Toronto Blue Jays. Unless the Pirates add another catcher between now and Opening Day, Heineman will backup Hedges.
As for Hedges, he is undeniably one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. Since making his MLB debut in 2015 Hedges leads all major league catchers in Defensive Runs Saved. While this duo will leave a lot to be desired offensively, it could be one of the best defensive catching duos in baseball.