Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Hitting Prospects that Must be Better in 2024

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Lastly, Gutierrez is a catcher that the Pittsburgh Pirates would like to see work out.

With catcher being a position of need in their farm system, the Pirates were known to be looking for catching prospects ahead of the 2021 trade deadline. They got a potential impact backstop in Gutierrez when they acquired him from Philadelphia in a trade that sent minor league left-hander Braeden Ogle the other way.

Gutierrez has the raw tools to potentially become an impact catcher at the major league level, including power potential from the right side and a strong arm behind the plate. The Pirates hoped he could quickly develop into a core piece of their rebuilding efforts. However, Gutierrez landed on the 60-day IL in June after just 53 games at Double-A this season. Between the limited action and a disappointing .240 average in 2023, Gutierrez has not taken the steps forward Pittsburgh was hoping to see, especially with the bat.

Now at 23 years old, he is running out of developmental time to fully tap into his natural talent. Recurring injuries have prevented Gutierrez from getting into a consistent rhythm or reaching even 80 games in a minor league season yet. The Pirates knew they needed to be patient with him, but Gutierrez needs to prove he can stay healthy and be productive over a full season. If he cannot put it all together soon, he risks getting passed up by other prospects in Pittsburgh's farm system. The organization wants to see major improvements from Gutierrez over the remainder of 2023 and into next season as they determine whether he can be their catcher of the future.