Kyle Wilkie

Born: October 20, 1997
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 12th Round, 364th Overall, 2019
How Acquired: Draft
College: Clemson


The Pirates needed catching going into the 2019 draft, but they waited until the 12th round to make their first pick at the position. Wilkie was a two-sport star in high school, also playing quarterback. That strong arm translates behind the plate, though there are questions about his overall defense and durability. He has been a two-year starter at Clemson, taking over behind the plate at the very end of his freshman year. Wilkie put up a .307/.400/.431 slash line in 144 games over three seasons, which almost mirrors his junior season stats. While they weren’t out of hand as a sophomore, he cut down on his strikeouts as a junior, striking out 34 times in 254 plate appearances. He signed a week after the draft and is probably the top candidate for the starting catcher spot at West Virginia.

A-:  243/309/281, 185 AB, 7 2B, 17 BB, 20 K, 1-3 SB

Wilkie was the regular catcher at West Virginia after he signed.  His defense still probably could use some work, as he had 11 passed balls in 40 games.  He threw out 28% of base stealers.  On offense, Wilkie hit very little except for one three-game stretch late in the year in which he went 12-for-15.  After that, he slumped again and finished the year in a 4-for-40 slide.  He had a good BB:K ratio, but showed no power.  Wilkie struggled badly against RHPs, with a .527 OPS.  He had a .777 OPS against LHPs.

The Pirates every year draft one or more catchers who are solid or better defensively, but none of them ever hit at all.  The best it ever gets is Jacob Stallings.  Apart from Stallings and first-round flop Tony Sanchez, no player drafted by the Pirates’ front office has caught a single pitch in the majors.  So Wilkie has a lot of history against him.

2020: Minor league contract
Signing Bonus:
MiLB Debut: 2019
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2025
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
June 5, 2019: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 12th round, 364th overall pick; signed on June 12.