ABRAHAN GUTIERREZ, CATCHER
|Born: May 26, 2000
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2017 (Phillies)
How Acquired: Trade (with Phillies)
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Gutierrez has had an unusually complicated transactional history for a player at such an early stage of his career. He originally signed with Atlanta, but MLB voided the contract in the wake of the Braves’ international signing scandal. The Phillies signed him a month later. At the 2021 trade deadline, the Phillies agreed to trade him and another prospect to the Pirates for Tyler Anderson, but the deal wasn’t finalized due to a problem with the other prospect’s physical. Instead, the Pirates traded Anderson to Seattle and acquired Gutierrez for Braeden Ogle.
Gutierrez was one of the most highly regarded international prospects the year he became eligible to sign, but scouts haven’t been impressed by his development. Part of the problem has been related to conditioning. He has a good eye and consistently makes contact, but has tended too much to serve the ball to the opposite field rather than driving it. This is despite the fact that scouts see him as having average raw power. He receives and moves well enough behind the plate to project as an average defender, with an average arm.
The Phillies sent Gutierrez initially to the Gulf Coast League. He hit reasonably well, with some gap power. He threw out 38% of base stealers.
Back in the GCL, Gutierrez’ hitting numbers improved moderately. His CS% dropped to 21%.
The Phillies moved Gutierrez up to low A and he just held his own, not hitting the ball with much authority. He threw out 30%.
Like most everybody else, Gutierrez didn’t play during the pandemic season.
Gutierrez went back to low A and, despite moving from the South Atlantic League to the extreme pitching environs of what used to be the Florida State League, his hitting improved, especially his power. He also walked more than he struck out. He threw out 24%. Baseball America ranked him 26th in the Phillies’ system going into the season at 27th at mid-season, when the Pirates acquired him. Gutierrez continued to hit well for Bradenton, although he missed two and a half weeks with an injury. He came up big in the playoffs, with three home runs in the Marauders’ three-game sweep.
Gutierrez was in a peculiar situation at Greensboro, which opened the season with him, Henry Davis and Endy Rodriguez. The Pirates still found ways to play Gutierrez more or less every day, although Davis’ early departure helped. Gutierrez started 44 games at catcher, 21 at first and 42 as DH. He had a solid season on offense and improved as it wore along, with July (.926) and September (.852) his best months. He hit eight of his 12 home runs in the Greensboro park, but he had a slightly higher OPS on the road. He had no platoon split. Gutierrez threw out 26% of base stealers.
After years without having any catching prospects, the Pirates suddenly have an abundance of them. Part of their reasoning in wanting Gutierrez reportedly was that they thought a low-level catcher wasn’t likely to get selected in the Rule 5 draft. They didn’t add him to the 40-man roster, but it didn’t matter because the draft was canceled. They’ll face a tougher decision for the 2022 draft, as Gutierrez will be a level closer to the majors, and Rodriguez and Blake Sabol with both be Rule 5 eligible. A 40-man roster loaded with sub-replacement, waiver-claim relievers won’t help.
|2023: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2017
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 2, 2016: Signed by the Atlanta Braves as an international free agent.
November 21, 2017: Contract voided by MLB.
December 21, 2017: Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an international free agent.
July 30, 2021: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Braeden Ogle.