Connect with us

Indianapolis Indians

Perrotto: Who’s It Going to Be? Henry Davis or Endy Rodriguez?

Published

on

Pittsburgh Pirates-Henry Davis

PITTSBURGH – Henry Davis is now at Triple-A Indianapolis. However, that doesn’t clear up one of the more intriguing questions surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Who is their catcher of the future?

For now, there are two possible answers. Davis is one and the other is one of his new teammates at Indianapolis, Endy Rodriguez.

Davis, who was promoted from Double-A Altoona on Sunday, and Rodriguez are both considered among the best catching prospects in baseball and the Pirates aren’t yet ready to determine which one is better. Thus, the duo will split duties behind the plate for Indianapolis when the Indians return to action following a day off Monday.

Considering you can only play one catcher at a time, both players will also see action at other positions. However general manager Ben Cherington makes it clear that he considers Davis and Rodriguez as catchers first.

“If we’re thinking longer term, my view is the best outcome for the Pirates and for both of them would be to be major league catchers,” Cherington said. “If they can do the things they’re capable of doing offensively and handle the defensive responsibilities at catcher, that’s a massive impact. So longer-term, that’s our focus.

“We see all the time that (in the) short term on a day-to-day basis we do all kinds of things to put the team in the best position to win tonight. So that’s a balance. We always balance short-term and long-term. The long-term outcome, in our opinion, is that they’re both catching a lot of games in the major leagues.”

Rodriguez will likely play first base at Indianapolis when he isn’t catching while Davis is expected to get some reps in right field. Both could also be used as the designated hitter to get their bat into the lineup.

“This will be a chance for Henry to play in Triple-A. He hasn’t done that yet,” Cherington said. “It is a different level of baseball and fully expect him to compete there and do well. It’s important for him to experience that. As far as Henry’s concerned, that’s an opportunity for him to get that opportunity. It’s a new group of teammates, a chance for him to connect with a new group of teammates. That team’s been playing well recently.

“With Endy, it’s just a continuation, continue to work on the stuff. He’s trending in a good direction. Not surprisingly, he’s working his tail off and getting into a good spot defensively. The bat’s starting to heat up. He’s always been a leader on the teams he’s been at.”

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft, the 23-year-old Davis hit .284/.433/.547 with 10 home runs and seven stolen bases in 41 games with Altoona this season. He threw out 18% (3 of 17) of runners attempting to steal a base.

Rodriguez, also 23. was the MVP of the Florida State League in 2021 and the South Atlantic League in 2022 while playing at the Class A level. This year at Indianapolis, he is batting .247/.341/.396 in 38 games with four homers and four steals while throwing out 18% (5 of 28) of would-be base stealers.

Cherington says no extra weight will be placed on either player’s offense or defense in determining who gets to the big leagues first.

“I don’t think it’s one or the other. It’s both,” Cherington said. “At the major league level, a run’s a run. You know, if you are scoring a run or preventing a run, it’s worth the same. We want to score more than we than we let in, so I don’t think it’s a matter which one’s more important. It’s the overall package.

“On a day-to-day basis, they may be focused on certain things more than others. But in terms of a decision on whether there’s an opportunity, you have to look at the whole thing. We have to balance that with the needs of the team — what’s working well and if there’s an area to improve, you know, how do we do that? Take all that into account. Good players will eventually get opportunity. That’s the way the game works. But we’re excited for now to see them play together.”

Having two top catching prospects is a good thing, considering the paucity of quality players at the position around baseball. It will be quite interesting to see who ends up being the No. 1 guy in Pittsburgh.

Copyright © 2024 National Hockey Now. All rights reserved. In no way endorsed by the Pittsburgh Pirates or Major League Baseball.

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (PA/IL) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN only) or 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA only) or 1-800-522-4700 (CO Only) or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789.