As we continue to look at the minor leaguers in the Pirates' organization, we'll move on to the catchers:

Joey Schoenfeld -- R/R,  6' 2",  187 lb
Schoenfeld was chosen by the Pirates in the 10th round of the 2009 draft.  He got in just 5 games with the GCL Pirates in that year, and went 0-for-14 at the plate.  In 2010, Schoenfeld was back with the GCL Pirates, sharing playing time with Elias Diaz and Dylan Child.  Schoenfeld still needs a lot of work on his defense, though the Pirates believe the potential is there.  He threw out 2 of 21 base stealers -- definitely a work in progress.  With the bat, Schoenfeld hit .273 in July and improved to .296 in August, to average out at a solid .281, with 3 RBI.  He did strike out a lot:  21 strikeouts in 23 games (32.8%), but also took a lot of walks (10, or 13.3 %).  He'll turn 20 years old in June, so he still has some time to work on everything.  He should begin 2011 in State College.

Elias Diaz  --
 R/R,  6' 1",  175 lb
Diaz is a 20-year-old Venezuelan, who made his US debut after just one season in the VSL.  Of the three catchers, he got the bulk of the playing time behind the plate for the GCL Pirates in 2010 (38 games).  Diaz was the best of the three defensively, including throwing out 21 of 51 base stealers.  His hitting needs some work, as he hit just .218, with 2 homers and 20 RBI.  Diaz started out stronger, with a .261 average in 6 games in June, then dropping to .227 in July and .182 in August.  The Pirates are hoping that he will develop more power over the next few years.  He'll probably begin 2011 in State College, sharing duties with Schoenfeld.  He's got an outside chance of being assigned to West Virginia, where he'd share with Matt Skirving.  
Dylan Child --  
R/R,  6' 1",  181 lb
Child is an Australian and a product of MLB's Australian Academy.   He made his US debut with the GCL Pirates in 2010, though of these three catchers, he got the least amount of time behind the plate -- just 8 games.  He also played 14 games at first base, and 2 at third.  Partly because he is relatively new to catching (he was a shortstop initially), he needs the most work on his defense.  He threw out only one of 12 base stealers last season.  Child needs to work on his hitting as well -- he hit .179 in 12 games in July and .217 in 9 games in August.  Overall, he had a .180 average with a double and 2 RBI.  His strikeout rate was not high -- 11 strikeouts in a total of 24 games (18%).  Child was listed as a "reserve" on the Adelaide Bite in the Australian Baseball League over the winter, but was never placed on the active roster.  With so little playing time behind the plate last year, the 20-year-old will probably return to the GCL in 2011.

 

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