What Kind Of Impact Will Endy Rodriguez Make In 2023?

There may not be a more tantalizing character in Pirates training camp right now than Endy Rodriguez. He’s the complete package, as you can see the energy that surrounds him, and he hasn’t been too shabby hitting the ball since coming over from the New York Mets. 

The young catcher was one of the best hitters in the Florida State League in 2021 (called Low-A Southeast then), and then shot up three levels last season, finishing with a brief stint in Indianapolis.

He’s also one of the most versatile players defensively, not only a legitimate catcher, but athletic enough to see time at first and second base, along with left field.

It wasn’t too difficult a choice in deciding who would be named the Player of the Year in the Pirates system in 2022, but what’s in line for the encore?

Added to the 40-man roster this offseason, and one of two catchers currently there, it would have to take a lot to happen for Rodriguez to make the Opening Day roster — as it’s already been stated he’s slated to begin the year in Indianapolis.

Endy’s progression throughout the minors has a lot of the projection models absolutely all in on him going into the 2023 season.

Some models vary on the playing time, but his WAR/162 projections all put him in a potential discussion as one of the best catchers in the game as a rookie.

ZiPS had him at a 3.3 WAR in 124 games played, with Steamer even projecting him at a 1.4 WAR in 57 games (that’s 3.71 WAR/162). 

‘THE BAT’, another projection on FanGraphs, gave Rodriguez an 0.6 WAR in 57 games played (1.7 WAR/162). That’s maybe the most contained of what the computers feel like he could end up as.

An interesting thing about Steamer was that a lot of his value came from defense, with a 3.8 DEF mark, compared to 0.9 OFF. While he has the athleticism to help out in any number of ways, the way the roster is constructed, the biggest impact he can have will be at the catcher position.

The Pirates have quite a few names in camp fighting for the backup catcher spot behind Austin Hedges, but once they deemed Rodriguez ‘ready’, there won’t be anything holding him back.

For the second straight year the Pirates are going to have an incredibly highly ranked prospect join the major league team, adding another piece to a potential young core they hope to compete with.

While there should always be caution when it comes to rookies, Endy’s rapid progression is something that could make him a quick study at the major league level, and even with his eye popping offensive numbers, even the computer projections still see his potential impact in the field.

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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How did our DR scouts miss Endy? Or any teams DR scouts? Mets signed him for $10k. Anthony’s comments may seem over-the-top optimistic, but I’d say they are spot on. He will join the team first game after AS break….it’s gonna be good!


Looking way ahead, the low bonus paid probably bodes well for the Bucs chances at buying out his arb years and extending him. Catchers tend to mature later. Do they also last longer (doubt it) before their performance with the bat craters?


I don’t think Endy got missed, it’s that the Mets ranked Francisco Álvarez higher and wanted LHP.


It’s going to be a fun competition to see who turns out to be the better MLB player. I think both of them will be consistent 3 – 4 WAR players.


Given the fact that Endy had one of the strongest minor league seasons in recent memory, one would expect him to walk on water. But, he may scuffle a bit at first before adjusting.


His winter ball performance in the DR wasn’t exactly great against the usual hodge podge of young-uns and 30 y.o. fringe MLB talent.

I lerv Endy long-term, but I’m fine with him coming along slowly if he’s not hitting 1.000 OPS in AAA. It’s not like the need for catching depth doesn’t appear soon enough in the course of every MLB season.


Im going to go even further. Wanna put fans in the seats? Wanna have a team that gets talked about nationally? Opening day with Henry at first, Endy catching and Quinn the opening day starting pitcher. Now that would be worth the price of admission.


We might just get that in 2024.


Neither Davis nor Rodriguez are ready. Priester may be closer, but he’s got work to do.


I know there are considerations in service time but by the time a star player gets in that position to talk long term contract we either buy out the years or trade him. So, get your best players on the field day one and play ball. Paralysis by analysis is one of big league administrations biggest faults.



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You know is only that close because of Trout’s salary!


And his inability to stay on the field.



Having him and Davis spending time with Hedges this Spring will hopefully make both of them better at the mental aspects of playing the position. Something which will continue to benefit them both long after Hedges is gone.

Not too worried about either of them swinging the bat. Both have pretty high floors and ceilings compared to other MLB Catchers.


Love your stuff, AM.

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