Jonathan Mayo had a an article from a few days ago in which he mentioned that the Pittsburgh Pirates plan to use Connor Joe in the outfielder during the rest of this season, then get him work behind the plate in the Fall Instructional League.
The Pirates took Joe with the 39th overall pick in the draft this year and signed him ten days ago. He has been assigned to the Jamestown roster and hasn’t played his first game yet. During the draft, Joe was announced as a right fielder, but he has more value as a catcher, where his bat is more suitable.
The move by the Pirates to use him in the outfielder didn’t make much sense at first. It’s a position of strength in the system and his bat doesn’t play well for a corner outfield spot. He projects to be a solid average hitter, who should hit a lot of doubles. Defensively behind the plate, he is considered a bit raw, though he does have a strong arm and quick release. So he is a project at the catcher spot, but isn’t someone that needs to be rushed through the system, especially if it ends up being as a right fielder.
Joe can also play some first base, another position where his bat may not be good enough to give him high value as an everyday player. No plans have been announced to get him playing time there yet. If he gets good enough behind the plate, they may have a versatile player that can get into the lineup at three different positions
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.