Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis Rank Among the Top Ten Catching Prospects

MLB Pipeline started their lists of the top ten prospects by position on Monday. Today’s list featured the top ten catchers. Both Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis represent the Pittsburgh Pirates on the latest list.

Pipeline went with right-handed pitchers on Monday. That’s a list where you don’t go deep into the top 100 prospects list before you get ten right-handed pitchers, so it’s no surprise that no one from the Pirates made the list. For reference, Baseball America released their top 100 list today, and it took all of 32 spots to get to the tenth right-handed pitcher.

The left-handed pitcher list posted on Tuesday. The best left-handed pitcher in the Pirates system is Anthony Solometo, and he still has some work to do to be among the ten best in the game, though it’s not a particularly strong position (five top 100 prospects according to BA), so he might not be far off from cracking the back-end of the list if his 2023 season goes well.

Rodriguez ranks fifth among all catchers today for Pipeline, one spot ahead of Davis on the list. For comparison again with BA, Rodriguez is fourth for catchers for them, while Davis is ninth.

Pipeline ranks Davis as having the best arm for the top ten catchers, putting a 70 grade on his throwing. Rodriguez didn’t rank best among any tools for the group, but he got mentioned for the humblest beginnings due to his $10,000 bonus. Davis was mentioned as the most to prove due to his injuries.

We will post any future lists that have Pirates. That will probably be Friday when the second base list drops, but that could be the only other one we post because many of the Pirates top prospects are right-handed pitchers.

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.

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bianco599

Davis gets pegged by a lot of pitches. Wonder if he ever thought of backing off the plate a little. I just remember reading the write ups last season and the dude was always getting hit.

mpg43952

Give him Barry Bonds’ armor and he’ll do fine.

bianco599

Was thinking the same thing as I was typing it. Good call.

robertkasperski

Just like Slarling Marte! He never moved back either.

skliesen

I don’t think the scouts are buying into Endy’s power. He never was a big HR hitter until last season. If he had shown that type of power early on, the Yankees wouldn’t have let him get away.

This is a big year for Davis to show everyone he can both stay healthy and be the player the Pirates projected him to be when they drafted him.

melkel

I wouldn’t worry to much on Endy’s power, it’s trending in the right direction. When we got him it was below average, now above. (45to55)
His OPS and slugging are raising as he goes up in level, while most rated above him are going down. In other words he’s still maturing, his ceiling might be higher.
The only thing that gets me is they lowered his fielding from above average to average. Think they might be off on that too.

emjayinTN

A NY team, but it was the Mets

skliesen

You could make a living off of correcting my mistakes, emjay. I had it in my mind we acquired him in the Taillon trade. My mistake. Again.

emjayinTN

That stood out because in the Musgrove trade, the Padres offered a LHRP and the Pirates balked because they wanted a Catcher. The Padres looked to find another team looking for a reliever and having a good reputation for developing Catchers, and the Mets jumped in. Turned out Endy Rodriguez (who was never going to get beyond Francisco Alvarez in the Mets org) was deemed expendable and I think the Mets received Joey Lucchesi.

Sometimes being baseball smart just comes down to getting lucky!

skliesen

That $10,000 bonus for Endy has me thinking the Pirates should offer him one of those Ozzie Albies type contracts so he can start the season in Pittsburgh.

emjayinTN

Maybe something between Albies (7 years/$35mil + 2 years of CO) and Acuna (8 years/$100 mil + 2 years of CO).

The Acuna extension in 2019 came after he had played in the majors in 2018 433 AB, 917 OPS, OPS+ of 143.

The Albies extension came in 2019 after he had played 2017 217 AB, 810 OPS, 110 OPS+ and 2018 639 AB, 757 OPS, 101 OPS+.

melkel

I think a 5year 15 million with two different options gets it done.
Year 1, $2.5mil years 2&3, $1.25 years 4&5, $2.5 if option is not picked up.
The options would have to be picked up after year three.
Option 1. 5 year extension for $8mil AAV
Total 8 years $45 million
Option 2. 10 year extension for $12.5mil AAV
Total 13 year $130 million

Last edited 20 days ago by melkel
leefieux

Will one of them move off of catcher? Good problem to have, I think.

Darkstone42

Endy had played a lot of 1B, right? With Davis having the best defensive tool with his arm, I would guess he’s the one who would get the biggest share at C. Though, if they both hit, they might take advantage of positional flexibility and the DH to get them both in the lineup every day somehow. And carry a third catcher in case of injury.

robertkasperski

Acatually Endy has been working at 2b a lot. Last year only 3games at 1b in Greensboro, 18 games at 2b across A= -AA – AAA, 13 LF, 16 at DH, and 75 at C.

emjayinTN

With Catchers, a big arm is good as long as it is accurate, and a Catcher with a better poptime could give away 5 mph or more on his throw if his poptime is 2-4 hundreth’s quicker than the Catcher with the big arm. Need more input on poptime of the two to decide which is quicker to 2B.

Davis is looking like a RH DH when he is not Catching. Hoping that Nunez proves in AAA that he is the long term 1B for the Pirates. His hitting stats through AA are big time. The Pirates getting Nunez and Oviedo for Q and a struggling Stratton was a very positive piece of work. I think Q was the difference down the stretch for the Cards so a win by both clubs – ours is more long term. Good to see you back.

melkel

I think they need to give Davis some time in right field. (Still focus on catching) I think he’s more athletic than given credit for just awkward like Hunter Pence in a totally different way.

skliesen

I believe the scouts like Endy’s defense behind the plate much better than Davis’. Better pitch framer, better on balls in the dirt, and calls a better game are all things I’ve read. Plus his arm may not be as strong as Davis, but it’s not a weakness either.

Ideally both would get plenty of work behind the plate over a 162 game season.

mpg43952

Endy hit a lot better when he played the majority of his games at catcher, for what that’s worth.

john_fluharty

I don’t think he played a ton of 1B but I could be wrong. I know he played 2B.

steve_zielinski

Endy is a good defensive catcher whereas Davis is not. So, the Pirates will play both at the same time while pairing Rodriguez with a defense only catcher.

skliesen

Too early to make this a definitive statement.

robertkasperski

Also depends when Robo the Ump starts working the plate as well. May come sooner than we think the pitch calling has been getting worse every season. Davis’s framing is his biggest downfall from what I understand. Robo will render that skill useless.

Scrappy2499

That’s my thought as well. Once the Robo Ump takes over, then other than calling a good game for the pitcher the big things will be limiting passed balls and have a strong arm to 2nd.

robertkasperski

Many pitches are being called by the dugout personnel these days too. Like you say it is going to come down to keeping the ball in front of you and having a quick/strong arm to 2nd. Molina would not know how to handle not being able to pressure umps into calling pitches the way he wants them 🤣🤣🤣

Scrappy2499

LOL, very true

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