ARDEN PABST, CATCHER
|Born: March 14, 1995
Drafted: 12th Round, 375th Overall, 2016
How Acquired: Draft
College: Georgia Tech
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Pabst is a glove-first catcher who started all three seasons at Georgia Tech. He threw out 44% of base stealers during his career and committed just one error in each of his last two seasons. His offense was weak each year, with a .234/.305/.333 line in 372 at-bats over his career. He got praise for working hard on the defensive side and also working well with his pitchers.
Pabst was the primary catcher at Morgantown. He showed good receiving skills and threw out 28% of base stealers, but did very little at the plate.
Pabst more or less shared the catching job at West Virginia with, at different times, Brent Gibbs, Yoel Gonzalez and Chris Harvey. In the end, he caught about 40% of the time, twice as often as Gibbs or Gonzalez. He missed the last two weeks of the season with an injury. The Pirates continue to like Pabst’s receiving skills and he threw out 34% of base stealers. He didn’t, however, hit much, and didn’t improve over the course of the season. In fact, his best month was April, when he had a .763 OPS, including six of his 16 extra base hits.
Pabst shared the catching duties at Bradenton with Jason Delay through mid-July and, surprisingly, hit very well, with good power. He didn’t show a lot of patience at the plate, but he hit consistently throughout his time with the Marauders. In July, Pabst moved up to Altoona, where his hitting dropped off. He played only sporadically, though, as Christian Kelley was the starter and Jin-De Jhang returned from injury in August. Pabst continued to control the running game very well, throwing out 46% of base stealers in high A and four of nine in AA.
Pabst shared the catching duties at Altoona with Jason Delay. He continued to play well defensively and threw out 35% of base stealers. His hitting, obviously, was awful. He struck out in well over a quarter of his plate appearances, drew very few walks and generally just didn’t hit. From July 1 on, he batted .137. He hit just .138 against LHPs.
The Pirates did not bring Pabst to their alternate training site at Altoona, even after Christian Kelley got hurt.
The Pirates have three good-fielding, weak- (or non-) hitting catchers in Pabst, Delay and Kelley, who was at Indianapolis in 2019. For 2020, they also signed veterans, in Luke Maile and John Ryan Murphy, with strong gloves and very weak bats, and added another veteran in Andrew Susac. For 2021, they claimed Michael Perez and signed Tony Wolters, two more glove-only catchers, although Wolters ended up opting for free agency. They also re-signed Susac and signed Joe Hudson. You have to conclude that the new front office does not see the upper-level catchers they inherited as viable depth options.
|2021: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $75,000
MiLB Debut: 2016
MiLB FA Eligible: 2022
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2019
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 11, 2016: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 12th round, 375th overall pick; signed on June 17.|