I’ve been meaning to post this minor news for the last few days, but kept putting it on the back burner. The Pirates signed minor league catcher Kawika Emsley-Pai to a minor league deal on Thursday. Emsley-Pai was drafted in the tenth round of the 2010 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but was released in December. He hit for a .167/.265/.200 line in 90 at-bats in short season A-ball.
As Colin Dunlap points out, the Arizona front office was overhauled after the draft, which might have led to this decision. The scout who signed Emsley-Pai, Jim Dedrick, now works for the Pirates, and might have played a role in this signing. Emsley-Pai is likely to catch in West Virginia, although he had back issues last year, which should limit him to backup duties. Matt Skirving should make the jump from State College to West Virginia to handle most of the catching duties, and one of the GCL catchers (Elias Diaz, Dylan Child, Joey Schoenfeld) could make an aggressive jump, but for the most part the depth at the lower levels is thin. That was shown when the Pirates were using Pat Irvine as a backup catcher in 2010.Pirates Prospects is FREE today in honor of the Wild Card game. You get special access to all of our content, which is typically reserved only for subscribers. We cover the Pirates 365 days a year, with live coverage all throughout the playoffs, and off-season coverage of the minor league players in the Arizona Fall League and Winter Leagues. During the season we average well over 6 articles per day on the Pirates. This is the best stop if you're a hardcore Pirates fan, and the subscription prices are very low.
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