Pirates Draft Jacob Stallings in the Seventh Round
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.