Last season, Wyatt Mathisen got an aggressive push from the Pirates, skipping over Jamestown and going right to West Virginia as a 19-year-old catcher. After being drafted in the second round in 2012, Mathisen signed early and went to the GCL. He got into 45 games and hit well, batting .295/.388/.374 in 139 at-bats, while striking out just 19 times. Mathisen needed plenty of work behind the plate, but the Pirates felt he could handle the jump to full-season ball in 2013.
In retrospect, the move to West Virginia so quickly was probably a bad decision. Mathisen started off poorly at the plate and was hitting .185 through May 23rd, with a .466 OPS. He went down with a torn labrum, which kept him out over two months and may have partly contributed to his poor start at the plate. When he returned in August, Mathisen played first in the GCL, then went to Jamestown. He ended up playing 48 games last year, never returning to West Virginia after his injury.
John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.