Prior to His Injury, Henry Davis Was Focusing on Managing a Pitching Staff

Prior to his promotion to Double-A, and before landing on the IL with a fracture in his wrist, Henry Davis was focusing on his defense.

The catcher, drafted first overall in 2021, was sent to High-A Greensboro to start the season. The Pirates had two other legit catching prospects going to the same level, including top ten prospect in the system Endy Rodriguez.

In hindsight, it doesn’t seem like Davis needed the work offensively. He hit for a .342/.450/.585 line with five homers in 100 plate appearances with Greensboro. His offense wasn’t really the reason he was there.

“Henry performed well offensively, and he’s going to continue to work on his defensive game,” said Greensboro manager Callix Crabbe after the promotion.

The Pirates sent Davis to Greensboro to get some work on the defensive side. Davis was drafted first overall due to his elite power potential and the ability to stick behind the plate. The power is not in question, and has shown up at every limited sample sized stage so far, including one home run while playing hurt in his first two games in Altoona. Defensively, the Pirates have Davis focusing on his work with the pitchers.

“I think it’s just continuing to develop that pitcher-catcher relationship,” said Crabbe of the focus going forward for Davis. “That ability to move along with a pitcher who might not be commanding a particular pitch on that day, and helping them establish the strike zone with a pitch that they’re throwing well.”

Crabbe noted that Davis has also been working on framing at the bottom of the strike zone, noting that he’s “really good” at the top. Framing might eventually become irrelevant to balls and strikes with automated strike zones on the horizon. The Pirates do believe there is a positive reinforcement benefit to the pitcher in seeing a well-received, well-framed pitch, so I don’t think this skill is going to be de-emphasized.

The work Davis was doing was largely getting used to handling a pitching staff, something that will always be a huge responsibility of a catcher.

“I think early on, he was working through a new pitching staff, and he was working through the different pitchers who were struggling with their own command issues as well,” said Crabbe. “As time went on, he got a lot better.”

Davis essentially got a crash course in Greensboro with their pitching staff. When he returns from his injury, he will get the same thing all over again in Altoona. Perhaps the experience of having to learn two different pitching staffs in the same year will help him in the future when there’s a revolving door in and out of Pittsburgh. Crabbe was positive about the abilities he saw from Davis during this development.

“Henry is not short on confidence, but he’s also one of the hardest working people that I have personally seen in my time coaching,” said Crabbe.

THIS WEEKEND ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

Prior to His Injury, Henry Davis Was Focusing on Managing a Pitching Staff

Greensboro Catchers Adjusting To Life After Henry Davis

Matt Gorski Has Been Getting Work at First Base This Year

THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

Williams: Jared Jones is a Familiar Story With Hopefully a Different Ending

Endy Rodriguez Gets Back on Track After Swing Issues in April

Matt Gorski: A More Consistent Swing and 17 Home Runs Later…

Prospect Roundtable: Which Greensboro Prospects Are Most Intriguing?

Maikol Escotto: “There’s a lot of thump in that bat”

Jacob Gonzalez: From Minor League Rule 5 to Minor League Video Game Numbers

Jack Carey: Stuff Playing More Than Numbers Showing

PROSPECT WATCH

DAILY VIDEO RUNDOWN

PIRATES DISCUSSION

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joesolo6181

He has to get away from pitches thrown at him when he is at bat. Otherwise, he will keep getting hit and hurt.

dbsteel

He seems like he’s banged up more than he plays.

b mcferren

is Jason Kendall working directly with Tank yet?

mpg43952

It means a lot when your best player is also the hardest working, Sidney Crosby territory.

skliesen

Did you say Davis’ wrist is fractured now? I think JD mentioned it was a minor bruise.

So what’s the timeline for his return?

John Fluharty

Didn’t they recently say someone else’s injury was mild and it turned out to be season ending?

JoeNastasi

I hope he’s back by Wednesday, have plans to drive out to Altoona to get a glimpse of all the good prospects on that team

skliesen

That makes me feel better. Thanks Tim.

soberg2002

Is it to early to worry about Davis being prone to injuries? Was this an issue for him in college?

Scrappy2499

I don’t think he is injury prone…I think this may be something to do with being hit by a pitch every other at bat…lol.

roberto

Catchers are prone to injuries. You need lots of them unless you’ve got a unicorn like Bench or Molina.

John Fluharty

Kendall was like that too before the thumb thing.

TNBucs

This is one reason why I don’t think Parada would be a bad pick if they like his bat better than Lee’s.

jon6er

‘Pudge’ says hi😁

PirateRican21

I really hope that when the time comes he will have Sabol and Rodriguez up with him and they have a rotation where he doesn’t catch more than 70 games a year.

John Fluharty

I always thought it would be good for your primary catcher to have a second position so you can move him out from behind the plate and still play him. And now of course you can just put him at DH.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Fluharty
mpg43952

I think that’s the future of the position, keep ’em fresh.

tedwins

Thanks Tim, good article and I notice other Premium articles, this morning EST, as well, Is today Tuesday?🤷‍♂️🤣…Regardless of what i missed on Premium drop scheduling, as im dense, awesome stuff guys, very thankful👏👏

tedwins

Amazing, this site over performs in a huge way, so thankful, now to pass this performance on to our MLB team, lets hope for that in 2023🤷‍♂️🤣🙏🤞

John Fluharty

No scrubs in the PP lineup – they’re all batting 300.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Fluharty
roberto

Agrée, and glad to hear that I hadn’t lost track of time.

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