Pirates Prospects Daily: What’s The Realistic Timeline For Henry Davis?

When the Pirates went under slot to draft and sign Henry Davis, the assumption was that he wasn’t a worthy candidate for the first overall pick, and the team  ‘cheaped’ out.

Going back to the 2021 draft, there were quite a few names popping around as potential picks, and while he wasn’t the most talked about player, Davis was among the names to be in consideration.

It didn’t help that he hasn’t been able to stay on the field his first full season, and when he was healthy, the numbers didn’t look ideal.

Now back at 100%, Davis is starting to look like the player that put him in the position to be a potential option as the first overall pick. 

With a more patient approach at the plate (20.5 BB%), Davis has really unlocked his power, as he hit his sixth home run of the season in the first game of the double header on Saturday.

So, now with Davis healthy, and showing his power upside, what’s the next step?

He’s handling Double-A pitchers well, obviously, so it would make some sense to get the catcher up to Triple-A for a new challenge. Of course, Endy Rodriguez is currently there.

The reason they were split up at the beginning of the year was so that they can both maximize time behind the plate, furthering their development at the position that would bring them both the most value.

It would make the most to have Davis continue catching in Altoona while Rodriguez is in Indianapolis, but only to an extent.

While it’s a safe assumption that Endy is only in the minors right now due to working around Super-Two and service time, the success of the major league team could potentially alter their plans throughout the system.

Endy could prove to be another big addition to an already strong offense. With how strong the wheels have been turning, you could make an argument not to veer too far off their current path they are on.

If that should be the case, and Endy stays in Indianapolis a little longer than originally predicted (his brief IL-stint could prove a perfect excuse), that causes a trickle down of sorts that would impact Davis.

It would be at that point you would have to think they would throw their original plans out the window, and start to work on ways to get them both in the lineup at the same time.

Realistically, based on how the Pirates have moved their prospects up, there isn’t as much a rush on getting Davis up this season. He’s not Rule-5 eligible till the end of the 2024 season, so the Pirates could take their time with him.

With the way the season has started, it kind of seems like Davis has a different timeline in mind, and could be pushing the situation by the end of the year.

Any doubt about Davis in general is starting to be put aside, and while it already seemed like they were in a really strong position have both him and Endy in the future, it’s starting to feel like that could be sooner rather than later.

Daily Video Rundown

Infielder Tsung-Che Cheng picked up his third home run of the season. While Greensboro is known for being hitter friendly, Cheng had shown more power on the road than at home until on Saturday.

Recently promoted pitcher Cody Bolton made his major league debut on Saturday, as well as picking up his first strikeout.

An amazing moment, as Drew Maggi picked up his first hit and RBI on the same play. 


By Tim Williams 

Williams: Rodolfo Castro Has Become a Lefty Masher

Pirates Recap: Pirates Sweep Double Header Against Nationals

Prospect Watch: Big Days for Josh Palacios and Mike Jarvis, Good Start for Luis Ortiz

Minor Moves: Endy Rodriguez Returns to Indianapolis

Pirates Draft Prospects: A Look at the New Draft Rankings and Many Familiar Names


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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I think it’s all gonna come down to injuries, remaining in the playoff hunt, and davis’ performance.

if everyone stays healthy, it’s hard to find a spot for him.

if theyre in the playoff hunt and have some injuries in the RF DH C area, and he’s performing, then i think we could definitely see him.

just not possible to predict, exactly, IMO.

he sure LOOKS ready.


Mike Shannon was 83? Damn, I’m getting old. Always seem to feel those guys I watched in the 60s were only a few years older than me, but it’s obviously more than a few.

b mcferren

Jason Delay rumor mill heating up

Sources saying San Francisco for Bednar


We are going to trade our catcher for our closer?

Last edited 1 month ago by pikebishop65

Will Bednar, not David.

Scam likely

Davis ,quick bat very pull happy. Needs to start using the whole field. He is 100% better behind the plate, as in being a leader. Blocking pitches and has a plus plus arm.


So…… Endy is dealing with a forearm strain, and Heineman is gone, so why not bring Davis up right now to AAA? Let him get his feet wet in AAA for a week, then Davis can keep getting 1 start in the OF, 1 start as DH, and 3 starts a week at Catcher over the next few weeks while Endy is split between DH, Catching, and another position to ensure his arm is fully ready to go before calling him up? Lets face it, Hedges is one of the worst Offensive catchers in MLB history and his defense is not better than Delay whom has quite frankly, earned the job fully at this point. Delay and Rodriguez would be the 2 catchers on the roster, and Hedges will be traded (maybe for another organizational catcher or two) that won’t take up a MLB roster spot.


They brought in Hedges on a 1 year $5 million contract to make the pitching staff better, and the pitching staff now has the second lowest ERA in the NL. I’m not saying how much of that is due to Hedges, but just that when you put it altogether I don’t see them trading Hedges, but they will likely give Delay more playing time if he continues to hit like he has been doing.


Seriously it has been one month. Delay is not going to hit like this and we will need all the catchers we have before the end. Injuries happen.


Hey easy solution: Davis is a righty, Endy is a switch hitter. If he is better from the left side, bring back the days of “LaSlaught” (SlaValliere?)


No. Both those catchers were platoon “non-stars” and utilizing them like that got the best from both of them. Davis and Rodriguez would be like having Mike Piazza and Ivan Rodriguez and platooning them, it’d be a horrible waste.


Ok, ok let’s not enshrine them in Cooperstown yet, how about after they see a few Major League pitches?


Way off topic but if I assume some of the posters on here are from Pittsburgh. Did Joe DeNardo ever come to any of your schools to discuss weather? My wife is from Charleston, SC and any time she asks what the weather is like I say “Who am I Joe DeNardo?”. She never gets it.
On a Pirate note. That hit by Maggi made my weekend. Hope the Bucs finish treating the Nats like the Brewers did us in years past.


I sold a pair of shoes to Joe D and his family when I worked at Kinneys.


Had to text one of my sister’s about Kinney’s reference. Been a good week. Was talking to my friend about old Phar Mor during the NFL draft.


WOW … Kinney’s Shoes …


Kinney shoes. Wow I haven’t thought of that place in a long, long time. I bet Joe was an awesome dude to measure his foot on those old school metal devices.


I’m 35 and that saying was very popular when I was a kid. Dude is a southwest pa legend


Davis has around 350 minor league at bats, less than half of those at the AA level…..I’m just grateful that at the moment the catching position is not a glaring weakness, I say let’s take advantage of that and let both him and Endy get a little more seasoning.


I think it starts at the mlb level. Delay is having good at bats. Maybe he’s playing over his head, but maybe he’s a late bloomer. I think he should be getting at least half the at bats if not more until he doesn’t look like a legit mlb hitter. There’s no reason to rush Endy or Davis, let them focus on defense. (Catching and a secondary position and get them as many at bats as possible.)


Fangraphs now projects us to be 83-79, 2nd in the Central, and with a little better than a 1/3 chance of making the playoffs.



So they still think the Pirates are a sub .500 team

63-71 projection for the rest of the way


Maybe Davis is fine staying in AA–they promoted Suwinski from AA and less than a year later he’s leading the team in WAR.


That was a freakish promotion necessitated by a positive Covid test and Altoona was the closest team near Pitts.
It’s going to be a snow day in July before we see a permanent AA promotion to the show. Maggi came up from AA too but again a sudden bereavement situation where they can get a guy an hour away.


Agreed. Furthermore, if there is one thing we know about Ben Cherington, he is patient. He will not feel rushed or make moves just because the team is winning.


A reasonable suggestion.


Does anyone have any thoughts on Palacios? He sort of looks intriguing as far as another potential late bloomer longshot sort of guy. I have to say, it seems Cherrington and co seem to have improved finding some interesting fringey sort of guys with upside for minimal cost.

Baseball Savant shows he runs very well in terms of sprint speed as well.


No, we do not trade either one. Preseason I had hopes that by mid season we might see them both up here alternating between catcher and DH. Now that we are in winning mode that’s all changed. Endy needs to polish up his game for another week or two until the next convenient injury in Pittsburgh. when that happens, Henry can go to Indy and spend the rest of the year there. Sometime next May he can come up and either catch or play first base. There’s no need to rush him and the MLB team doesn’t need him YET.

Last edited 1 month ago by Born4rf

Not a bad solution provided Davis is taught 1B at Altoona and/or Indianapolis, not in Pittsburgh.


Boy, you guys aren’t being very observant. Did you see “body chills as I write this?” Of course, I don’t advocate either of them traded. If such a calamity should occur, picture me as the model for Edvard Munch’s The Scream!


Currently, in Pittsburgh, catching is shared by Austin Hedges and Jason Delay with Hedges getting the most starts. It’s a traditional major league arrangement. Not so for Rodriguez and Davis? It seems ‘the plan’ is for Rodriguez and Davis to share catching for the Pirates. If so, wouldn’t it be prudent to send Davis to Indianapolis to find the best way to maximize these guys’ deployment when they’re both on the roster? They’re potentially potent hitters, so days when they-re not catching, how will they be used? Is a third catcher in the plan? Whatever the Pirates have in mind, they should experiment in Indianapolis not Pittsburgh. The Pirates could remain traditional with one of them dominating at catcher, or one of them permanently moves to another position, or (body chills as I write this) trade one. 


I could live with the right trade, not sure if I would like it. Say we get a controllable ace or a couple near ready bats with upside. An example would be Davis for Lewis and Kirilloff. Still would be hard to do.

Last edited 1 month ago by melkel

I think it’s a little too early to begin this experiment but generally agree that it should be conducted at some point in AAA. I mean, we are not even a month into minor league ball, and Endy has already missed a considerable portion of it. Let these guys get some reps in at their respective levels and reevaluate the situation when we get into the summer. There is absolutely no need to rush these types of development decisions.


The experiment already started last season when both Endy and Hank were in Altoona together. They alternated time at C and DH and Endy at 2B etc. It’s a good problem to have but it is a problem that needs a solution eventually. The DH in the NL may help BC with the decision, but that may require carrying a 3rd catcher on the 26 man. The DH gets burned if either has to change mid-game to Catch.


Agree with everything you said with the exception of “trade one”.

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