The Pittsburgh Pirates took their second catcher in the draft, selecting Jacob Stallings from the University of North Carolina in the seventh round. The right-handed hitting catcher is a senior, which means he’ll probably be an easy sign, and might not come close to the $148,000 slot price for the Pirates’ seventh round pick.
Stallings hit for a .294/.388/.445 line in 238 at-bats this year for North Carolina, with four homers. The 6′ 5″, 222 pound catcher had a career .293/.401/.429 line with te homers in 639 at-bats. He had good plate patience, with a career 21.4% strikeout rate, and a career 14.7% walk rate.
Stallings handled a very talented pitching staff at North Carolina, including 2010 Pirates’ draft pick Kent Emmanuel. Stallings has a great arm, setting a single season record for UNC with 32 caught stealing in 2011, for a 42.1% caught stealing rate. Runners tried to steal on him 44 times in 2011, but that number was cut down to 21 attempts in 2012, with opponents refusing to attempt a steal on him in the early part of the season.
He seems more like a defense first catcher, although he does have some power in his bat. As a college senior he won’t have a lot of leverage. He’ll probably be an easier sign, and will help improve the catching depth, with the upside a defensive backup . He was the 18th best prospect in North Carolina, according to Baseball America.