Bradenton Marauders: Abrahan Gutierrez Comes Through in First week in Pirates System
|Photo Credit: Bryan Green/Flickr|
It's not hard to tell when Ben Cherington likes a player, as he showed during this trade deadline. When he traded Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres, he offered to pay the rest of the All-Stars salary to ensure they got Tucupita Marcano in return.
Cherington tried to acquire Maracno in the Joe Musgrove deal during the offseason, but the Padres were unwilling to part ways with him. Now with their team in the middle of a playoff push, they offered up their super-utility prospect to land Frazier.
The same can be said about Abrahan Gutierrez, who the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies, in exchange for Braeden Ogle.
It wasn't the first time that Cherington tried to grab Gutierrez from the Phillies, in fact it originally appeared that he had succeeded. The Pirates and Phillies were in agreement on a trade that would send Tyler Anderson from Western to Eastern Pennsylvania.
Welcome to Bradenton Abrahan Gutierrez! pic.twitter.com/2fz2RdRgR0— Bradenton Marauders (@The_Marauders) August 1, 2021
Part of the return was going to be Gutierrez, as well as right-handed pitcher Cristian Hernandez. It was unclear what exactly happened, but due to a review of medical files the deal fell apart and Anderson was traded to the Seattle Mariners.
Cherington, not wanting to give up on getting Gutierrez, swung the deadline day deal to land the 21-year old catcher from Venezuela.
Currently a hit-first catcher type of prospect, Gutierrez had hit to a tune of .288/.420/.429 in 50 games with Philly's Low-A team in Clearwater. He had hit five home runs, 15 extra base hits, and driven in 32 runs, while posting a .409 wOBA and 138 wRC+.
He also had more walks drawn (37) than times he has struck out (31).
Anticipations was high coming over from Philadelphia, as it was clear that Cherington was high on Gutierrez, who slide in as the 47th ranked prospect for the Pirates on Fangraphs.
Let's just say he didn't disappoint in his week with the Pirates so far.
Gutierrez has gone 8-for-15 (.533) since being assigned to Bradenton while posting a .611 OBP and .667 SLG%. The righty has doubled twice, driven in three runs, scored five on his own and has more walks (3) than strikeouts (2).
He got his Bradenton career started off fast, going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in his first game against the Dunedin Blue Jays.
Make that 2-2 for Abrahan Gutierrez 🔥 pic.twitter.com/hR9a6Mx6lo— Pirates Prospect Talk (@TalkPirates) August 1, 2021
The only game Gutierrez hasn't recorded a hit was when he pinch-hit on August 5th. In fact, three of the four games that he has started, he has recorded multiple hits in. On August 6th against Clearwater, he went 3-for-4 with a two run double and then drove in another run when he drew a walk with the bases loaded.
It's only been a week, but it's definitely been an entertaining one to watch and most will get their first chance to really get a look at Gutierrez when Bradenton returns home and their games will be featured on MiLB TV.
Eli Wilson rough start
The Pirates haven't done much in terms of promoting players based off of performance within their minor league system. Wilson was one of those players, who got the move from Bradenton to Greensboro.
A 16th round pick back in 2019 out of Minnesota, Wilson was raking in Bradenton, hitting to a tune of .318 with a .954 OPS. Things haven't gotten off to the best start in Greensboro, with the 23-year old going 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts last week.
Wilson, son of former major leaguer Dan Wilson, has shown a great feel for hitting throughout his career, so he's going to be a name to watch the rest of the year to see if he can make the proper adjustments.
Versatility moving Endy Rodriguez away from catcher?
Rodriguez was one of the more interesting players to watch this season, acquired from the New York Mets as a part of the Musgrove deal. The athletic catcher was believed to be able to play multiple positions, but due to the lack of catching depth in the Pirates system, they started him there.
Now that catching depth isn't as much an issue with the Pirates - they added Henry Davis with the first overall pick in the draft as well as Wyatt Hendrie from San Diego St. They also acquired Gutierrez and Carter Bins at the deadline. Could Rodriguez's future be away from behind the plate?
Over his last 10 games, Rodriguez has played five at catcher, one at first base and the other four he spent being the designated hitter.
The depth only gets deeper at the lower levels when Davis and Hendrie graduate to affiliated ball and while it seems way too soon to move a player like Rodriguez away from the catcher position, if this season has been any indication it's going to be his bat that gets him through the system.
At just 21-years old playing in his first full season of professional baseball, Rodriguez has posted an .840 OPS with 29 extra-base hits (10 home runs).
Davis moving to Greensboro?
While nothing is definite on just how far the Pirates are going to push their first overall pick this year, things are kind of lining up for him to be a Grasshopper to start. The Marauders have Rodriguez, Gutierrez and Kyle Wilkie working out a three-man rotation at the position while Greensboro has a little less in terms of prospects.
I talked about the history of former draft picks and how they were positioned early on in their minor league career. A stop for a month or so at Greensboro could speed up Davis even more, but he seems set to spend at least a little more time in the Florida Complex League (FCL).