After having his 2023 season ended early due to injury, Pittsburgh Pirates catching prospect Abrahan Gutierrez has a big season ahead of him in 2024
When people think of young catchers in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system their mind immediately goes to two players - Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis. Even if the latter may not be a catcher moving forward. This leads to Abrahan Gutierrez becoming one of the most overlooked prospects in the Pirate farm system.
Ben Cherington acquired Gutierrez in July 2021. This came at a time when the Pirate farm system was in dire need of catching help. This likely contributed to Cherington pursuing Gutierrez in trade talks with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Across the two minor league levels he pitched at, Gutierrez had a strong season. Gutierrez hit well for High-A Greensboro and Double-A Altoona, as he continues to cement himself as a legitimate catching prospect in the Pirate farm system.
In 20 gmaes played with Greensboro, Gutierrex had 89 plate appearances. In these 89 PAs, Gutierrez hit for a .260/.360/.403 slash line with a 114 wRC+. He walked at an 11.2% rate, struck out with a 15.7% clip, and posted an isolated slugging (ISO) of .143.
Gutierrez then earned a promotion to the Double-A Altoona Curve. With the Curve, Gutierrez had 135 PAs in 33 games played. With Altoona, he hit for a .226/.333/.348 slash line with a 93 wRC+. Gutierrez posted a 11.9% walk and strikeout rate, to go with an ISO of .122 at Double-A.
The 2023 season was one that Gutierrez had ended early due to injury. The 23-year-old Gutierrez did not play after July 26th. This is obviously an issue for any prospect, but especially a prospect in the position Gutierrez is in where he is behind two players at his position (Rodriguez, Davis) who your organization view as potential future stars.
Looking ahead to 2024, it will be interesting to see where Gutierrez starts the season. Had it not been for his 2023 season getting cut short, Gutierrez starting the 2024 season at Triple-A might be a lock. Instead, he could very well find himself back at Altoona to begin the 2023 season.
Gutierrez continues to fly under the radar both as a catching prospect, and an overall prospect in the Pirate farm system. 2024 could be a big season for Gutierrez as he looks to establish himself as a legitimate MLB catching prospect.