Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Depth: Catcher

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Top Prospects

Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis duo make up two of the top spots in most Pirates’ prospect rankings. Rodriguez was acquired in the Joe Musgrove trade from the New York Mets. Over the past two seasons, the switch-hitter has batted .310/.395/.554 with a .423 wOBA and 154 wRC+. Rodriguez has displayed outstanding plate discipline and drawing walks in 11.4% of his 965 plate appearances while striking out in just 18.4% of them as well. Power hasn’t been an issue for Rodriguez, as he’s smacked 40 long balls with a .244 isolated slugging percentage.

Rodriguez has only gotten better. His wRC+ has increased at each level, going from 140 at Bradenton, 151 at Greensboro, 199 at Altoona, and 203 at Indianapolis. Rodriguez was unstoppable in 2022, especially in the second half. The catching prospect posted a 1.228 OPS, .516 wOBA, and 221 wRC+ in the second half. It also helps he’s a solid defensive catcher who brings some versatility to the field.

Then there’s Henry Davis. Davis was the no. 1 overall pick in the 2021 MLB draft. So far, Davis has looked quite good in the minor leagues. Last year, he batted .264/.380/.472 with a .385 wOBA, and 136 wRC+. Davis is known for his power and owned a .208 isolated slugging percentage. But he was limited to just 255 plate appearances because of injuries sustained by multiple hit-by pitches. Davis was hit an ungodly amount of times, to the point it became anomalous. The powerful backstop was hit a whopping 20 times in just 255 trips to the plate. Only once since integration has a Major League player been hit 20+ times in less than 300 plate appearances.

Davis has the power to be a 30+ home run threat from behind the dish. He’s also displayed solid plate discipline, both through his minor league career and his time in college. But how long he’ll be a catcher is up for debate. Davis has a powerful arm but has known issues when it comes to blocking and framing. While framing might be a thing of the past within the next five seasons because of the digital strike zone, Davis has allowed nine passed balls in just 370 innings. Over the course of 800 innings, that’s a pace of nearly 20.