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Pirates promote top prospect Henry Davis to Triple-A

Davis moved from Double-A Altoona to Triple-A Indianapolis Sunday.

Salt River Rafters v Surprise Saguaros Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The prospect movement has begun. On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates promoted 2021 No. 1 overall pick Henry Davis to Triple-A Indianapolis, pairing him with fellow top-catching prospect Endy Rodriguez.

Davis obliterated Double-A pitching. In 148 at-bats with the Altoona Curve, Davis slashed .284/.433/.547 with 10 home runs, 27 RBIs and a .980 OPS through 41 games. He earned 32 walks, compared to 35 strikeouts, and registered 81 total bases.

Davis played 17 games in the Arizona Fall League in 2022 - hitting a home run and driving in six - while still finding a way to be hit on seven occasions. Through 108 games in the minors, Davis owns 21 doubles, 23 homers, 76 RBIs, and a .925 OPS.

Two weeks ago, I proposed why pairing Davis and Rodriguez for a few weeks would do more help than harm. Both could spend significant time in the majors on the Pirates 26-man roster for years to come and one will likely move away from home plate. Why not see a slight glimpse of what’s to come?

Davis (right field and DH) and Rodriguez (utility) have played positions other than behind the dish, allowing the possibility to explore one at catcher and the other in the outfield while both are in the lineup.

The right-handed hitting Davis was promoted hours after GM Ben Cherington expressed on 93.7 The Fan that the calendar is in top prospects’ favor regarding promotions

“I think June is the month when we start to see some of that start to happen,” Cherington said.

Why not see how Davis and Rodriguez play together? The Super-2 deadline for prospects to receive an extra year of arbitration is approaching, and the Pirates seem poised to make significant changes on the horizon.

Rodriguez is likely the first to be recalled to Pittsburgh, maybe as soon as two weeks from now. His versatility is a considerable factor and plate appearances in Indianapolis, but Davis is slightly behind.

The 23-year-old Rodriguez is hitting .247 with four homers, 16 RBIs, four steals and a .737 OPS. The Pirates’ 2022 Minor League Player of the Year hit 25 homers and drove in 95 runs en route to becoming one of baseball’s top Minor Leaguers. He slashed .323/.407/.590 in 125 games spanning three levels between High-A and Triple-A.

Allowing Davis and Rodriguez to split time at catcher, learn from each other, and gain at-bats at DH or at another position could benefit both players before both end up at PNC Park by summer’s end. This stint with both in Triple-A won’t last long but pave the way for a future dynamic duo in the Steel City.