P2Daily: Blake Sabol Answered The Call In 2022

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.

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

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

Speaking of Blake Sabol, he was the subject of my feature last month for Baseball America. This month’s feature was on Nick Gonzales. Check those out if you haven’t gotten the chance.

On Saturday, the Pirates had seven players reach minor league free agency, while re-signing Lolo Sanchez. John Dreker recapped the moves:

**Seven Pirates Reach Minor League Free Agency; Pirates Re-Sign Lolo Sanchez

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.

**Pirates Winter Report: Jesus Castillo is Getting Great Experience at a Young Age

**P2Daily: Jase Bowen Continued To Add To Jack-Of-All-Trade Skillset In 2022

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.

Pirates Winter Report: Jesus Castillo is Getting Great Experience at a Young Age

Check back Sunday at noon for Ethan Hullihen’s latest Pirates Business update.

Pirates Discussion

Weekly Pirates Discussion: Free Agent Targets For the 2023 Rotation

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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piratemike

After watching last night’s game Sabol needs to work on his blocking skills but other than that he had a nice game with a nice catch and tag at home plate and a caught stealing throw plus a decent game at the plate.

b mcferren

recent BC quote saying he doesnt want to spend money nor prospects on our opening day starting catcher

bodes well for Sabol starting on opening day

AdministrativeSky236

Same or similar quote i saw saying he wanted to get more than 2 players this offseason. Doesnt mean much but hopefully choi is a sign of whats to come

b mcferren

he didn´t seem to commit to Choi at first base so perhaps a Choi / Andular platoon is what we have in store

I am holding out hope for another first baseman to arrive

roberto

I recommend not holding your breath. Pitchers are the priority now and should be.

roberto

Well, he can hit. Shades of Smokey Burgess.

b mcferren

needs a good catcher nickname

with Endy and Tank on his tail, I see no reason why Sabol shouldn´t receive the april, may and june at bats

spending more money on a veteran who will just get hurt sounds pretty dumb to me.

For what? to better handle the pitching staff because a rookie would screw it up? Our (starting) pitching improved in 2022 with a slop of schlep catchers. Sabol could do no worse calling a game

Last edited 2 months ago by b mcferren
roberto

Perez, Heineman, and Delay were fine defensively. I didn’t see the others. I repeat my standard objection: MLB backups are amazing athletes. Have you ever tried to hit an AA-quality pitch? I have and it was embarrassing. Slow pitch softball was my destiny.

tstrader448

Sunday Morning Coming Down! What a great choice. I actually prefer the Kristopherson version, but this is great.

Tim Williams

I think I post this song once a year, and someone always says they like the Kristopherson version better. I’m a big Johnny Cash fan, so I prefer his version, since it’s the first one I heard.

leefieux

I’m with you, TW. I never was a KK fan and you can’t beat the classic bass line of a Cash song!

Tim Williams

I’ve actually never heard Kristopherson. Or, if I have, it’s a situation like this where I know a song that he originally did.

mpg43952

Kris is an acquired taste as a singer, easily top 5 Nash Vegas songwriter & good actor. Highwaymen documentary showed a great side of all 4 legends.

roberto

It’s always nice to see autocorrect turn a perfectly coherent comment into something odd.

mpg43952

No autocorrect, I actually call Nashville that.

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