Henry Davis is thisclose to officially becoming a Pittsburgh Pirate.
The University of Louisville catcher, the first overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, is in Pittsburgh for his physical after coming to terms with the Bucs. Assuming he passes (we’ll assume it), he will formally sign and be introduced Sunday morning per Alex Stumpf of DK Pittsburgh Sports and Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It’s being speculated that Davis will sign for less than the $8,415,300 currently slotted for the first overall pick. As the Pirates’ other picks, high school pitchers Anthony Solometo and Bubba Chandler and outfielder/Penn State football prospect Lonnie White Jr., need over-slot deals to sign, if Davis doesn’t sign for the full amount, this will free up some funds to ink those players. No details of the agreement have been released as of this writing.
In an interview with the Post-Gazette after the draft, Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell said that Davis was “champing at the bit to go. He wants to play. He wants to hit.”
Davis may have been a surprise to go first overall, but he was generally regarded as the best hitter in the draft. So along with his defensive skills—he was a Buster Posey Award finalist, given to the best Division 1 catcher—and the genuine need for a long-term catcher (sorry, Cheetah), Davis was a no-brainer pick for Ben Cherington, who historically drafts according to need and not just the best available.
So the Pirates didn’t #TankForKumar or #TankForLeiter. Instead, they chose a player who could anchor the catcher position for years to come if he develops as they believe he will.
Yinz are welcome, n’at, Henry.