P2Daily: Looking At A Realistic Timeline for Henry Davis

Henry Davis had exactly the kind of weekend you would hope to see from a player that was taken first overall. The catcher collected six hits, four of which went for extra-bases.

That’s awesome. When’s he getting to Pittsburgh?

Dealing with that wrist injury, Davis was struggling in Altoona, so seeing this kind of success even in a small samples size, is encouraging.

Offensively, Davis is the prototypical high college draft pick, advanced enough to move very quickly through the system on his way to the majors. Adjusting to coming back from an injury and a new level, Davis has shown the blend of power and approach that could land him in Pittsburgh as soon as middle of the season next year (the good ole Super Two stuff).

That’s where things get a little interesting, and different, when it comes to Davis specifically. We saw another first overall pick, Adley Rutschman, make a similar ascent up the ladder to land in Baltimore. He, of course, lost a season due to the pandemic, but made the jump to the majors after about a year and a half of minor league time.

Davis should be able to do the same, right?

What makes the path to the majors a little more complex for a catcher than with any other fielding position is the secondary work needed on defense. There are so many variables that catchers have to adjust to at the professional level: Calling games, receiving a higher level of pitches, as well as the work required to get on the same page as the pitching staff.

It also means taking charge in controlling the run game.

That’s something that Davis can certainly work on, only throwing out 15.6% of would be base stealers. There are more variables in the minors now that may impact those numbers, but that isn’t the only thing that still is in development.

Davis has six passed balls in 207 2/3 innings behind the plate this season. When compared to some of the other catching prospects in the system, it shows the work still left for Davis.

Player CS% PB Innings Caught
Abrahan Gutierrez 28.1% 1 181
Endy Rodriguez 21.2% 4 274 2/3
Blake Sabol 15.6% 5 300
Henry Davis 15.6% 6 207 2/3

This isn’t to say that Davis can’t stay behind the plate, which is far from the truth. He has the raw talent and work ethic to do it. It’s just a reminder that the catcher position stands alone when it comes to development, and just because the bat can move quickly, doesn’t mean the player can.

Sunday marked the halfway point in the regular season, with some leagues naming their midseason champions. There is plenty of time for Davis to develop in the right direction as far as getting on the right kind of timeline to make his debut next year.

It’s just an easy time to remember that catcher is one of the few positions, maybe the only, where the glove has to match the bat to reach the highest level, and stick.

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The modern era of baseball has dumbed down the Catcher. Many Catcher’s are simply relaying signs to the pitcher and the defense rather than calling the game as Catchers used to do. Passed balls are simply unacceptable at any level of play – they are simply an indication of not being in the game mentally, unless the pitcher has thrown a pitch that was not called.

Jason Delay has 1 PB and a 39% CS percentage in 27 games at AAA. He and Heineman should be sharing the Catcher position for the Pirates – team players! Perez has decent defensive numbers, but framing is not his forte, and he has no bat whatsoever.


Was a great week to catch Altoona in New Hampshire. Davis hit a lot of other balls hard. Seems in control at the plate. Behind the plate …. not so much. Bad passed ball that was a huge factor in Saturday’s loss.
Peguero also looked great at the plate, but left with an injury on Sunday. Nick Gonzalez did not play all weekend. Not good.

The Cobra

He is definitely a player that the Bucs will wait for super two to pass. His bat alone could see his arbitration numbers get large fast. Don’t want the Bucco brass to get out of their comfort zone too quick. 🙂


Will Smith might be a good measure of the minor league preparation Davis needs, coming from the same school. But I hope Davis gets to the majors faster than Smith because Smith was 24 as a rookie, and left school after his Junior year (with 50% more games played in college). Smith was behind Austin Barnes, though, so maybe that was an extra year.

Davis physically hasn’t played any full professional season of a starter. I get the sense he puts more demand on his body than most guys away from the field, but he still has to adjust or risks injury. He’s got to build up innings like a pitcher, and learn to call pitchers’ games.

While I think he could be called up today and improve the major league win probability, he’s probably on the same timeline of Priester or Modlinski. Or at least that far away from being the starting catcher in Pittsburgh. He might be able to build up game calling and physical endurance as the Pittsburgh backup catcher and platoon DH. (That would well satisfy my itch to see him play.)


Does Davis have more hits than hit by pitches?


Fingers crossed for good health, and I do think Davis will have the chops to make it sometime middle/end of next season. It will be important to bring back roberto perez or bring in another vet to do better than the current black hole that we have at catcher plus hopefully taking on the role of Davis’ mentor

b mcferren

Mentor is the reason they hired Jason Kendall


I don’t see the team spending $5 million plus if they think Davis is ready by mid season next year, they should, but I don’t see it.


That’s fair, though dont know if roberto perez would command 5 mill after being injured all season. Maybe could be had for 2-3


I love Perez back for the reasons you mentioned. But whoever finishes the season as the starter; Heineman, Ritchie, Bins. Would comeback as a minimum paid stater to start the season.


Would love to have Perez back next year. I agree, he may take 3 mil to come back and be a part of a young club on the rise. Definitely a good guy to have around the young bucs


I remember seeing a quote from him right after his injury to the effect of how much he likes the club and he feels like he owes us a full, healthy season. Definitely seems like a guy in the russell martin role

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