You can plan, plan, and plan all offseason as to how you would like the year to go, but over the course of a long baseball season, things hardly go as planned.
It’s the one who takes the opportunity and runs with it that usually finds themselves playing at the next level.
It probably wasn’t the plan for Blake Sabol to play so many games behind the plate, but he took that opportunity and ran with it. He ran all the way from Altoona, to Indianapolis, and then more recently, the Arizona Fall League — where he caught the AFL Championship game for the Surprise Saguaros.
Sabol began the year with the Altoona Curve, splitting time with Carter Bins, who was acquired from the Mariners last year. Bins struggled out the gate, opening the door for the former USC Trojan to take a hold of the starting job.
When Henry Davis was promoted and joined the Curve, it looked like Sabol was going to get work back out in the outfield again, but an injury to the former first overall pick forced him back behind the plate.
Overall, Sabol slashed .281/.347/.486 with 14 home runs, 60 RBI and a wRC+ of 124 while playing for Altoona, eventually getting promoted to Indianapolis.
🚨GRAND SLAM ALERT 🚨
— MLB's Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 20, 2022
He wouldn’t play too much behind the plate at Triple-A, as the team had several other options throughout his time there — including Bins, playing more in left field than anything.
Sabol upped his power and walk rate playing in Triple-A, with a 16.8 BB% and .247 ISO mark.
Fast forward to the Arizona Fall League, Sabol has played the majority of the time away from behind the plate, but found himself starting in the championship game.
Sabol has always been an intriguing name in the system, but overshadowed by other prospects at the same position. Given the opportunity at the upper levels, he showed he could hit with the best of them, and put himself in position to potentially make his major league debut next season.
Highlight of the Day
— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) November 12, 2022
Pirates Prospects Daily
By Tim Williams
On Saturday, the Pirates had seven players reach minor league free agency, while re-signing Lolo Sanchez. John Dreker recapped the moves:
John Dreker also had the latest Pirates Winter Report, with an update on Jesus Castillo. If you missed it yesterday, Anthony Murphy took a look at Jase Bowen’s 2022 season.
Song of the Day
Pirates Prospects Weekly
Want a quick roundup of the players in winter ball, with a different player featured each week? Be sure to check out John Dreker’s Pirates Winter Report every Saturday. This week he took a look at Jesus Castillo, who won the batting title in the Florida Complex League this season, and is playing in Australia this winter.
Check back Sunday at noon for Ethan Hullihen’s latest Pirates Business update.