ED EASLEY, CATCHER
|Born: December 21, 1985
Drafted: 1st Round, 61st Overall, 2007 (Diamondbacks)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Mississippi State University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Arizona drafted Easley in the supplemental first round as an offensive minded catcher. Scouts considered his arm strength to be just average, although he’s generally had decent to very good CS percentages in the minors. He’s had issues with passed balls at times, although he’s considered a decent receiver. He struggled to hit most of the way through the minors, until he suddenly had two very good years in AAA in 2013-14. He has developed good plate discipline, but doesn’t have a great deal of power. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2016 and gave him a non-roster invitation to spring training.
Easley debuted in short season ball, dividing his time between catcher and DH. He showed good power but not such good plate discipline. Baseball America rated him the Diamondbacks’ 19th best prospect after the season.
The Diamondbacks moved Easley up to the California League and, in spite of the high-offense environment, he didn’t hit much. He spent most of his time catching and threw out 28% of base stealers, but he also played a dozen games at first. He had trouble with passed balls, committing 23. BA ranked him 29th in the Arizona system.
Arizona sent Easley back to high A, where he struggled even more at the plate apart from improved plate discipline. He caught only 53 games–with a 36% CS rate–appearing in 23 at first and 11 at third.
Easley moved up to AA, where he served as the backup catcher and played a few games at first and third. He continued to struggle at the plate. Arizona moved him up to AAA for the season’s last month.
The D’backs sent Easley back to AA, where he caught about half the time and threw out 32%. He improved significantly at the plate, including very solid plate discipline.
Easley spent another season sharing the catching duties in AA. He hit about the same as the previous year, but with little power.
Easley moved up to AAA, catching a little over half the time and throwing out 36%. He broke out at the plate, some but not all of it probably due to the good hitting environment in the Pacific Coast League. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Cardinals.
Easley continued to hit well and also threw out 42% of base stealers. The Cardinals were impressed enough to add him to their 40-man roster after the season.
Easley spent most of the season in AAA, where his hitting tailed off, although he continued to show excellent plate discipline. His throwing also wasn’t as good as previously, as he caught only 15% of base stealers. He got several callups and appeared in four games with St. Louis, including one start. The Cardinals removed him from their 40-man roster after the season and he became a free agent.
Easley most likely will serve in a backup role at Indianapolis, although it’s not clear how much playing time he’ll get. The Pirates expect to have Elias Diaz and Jacob Stallings in AAA, although the Diaz will open the season on the disabled list. They also should have Reese McGuire and Jin-De Jhang in AA, so there shouldn’t be much playing time there.
|2016: Minor League Salary|
|Signing Bonus: $531,000
MiLB Debut: 2007
MLB Debut: 5/29/2015
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: 2022
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/3/2014 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2015)
MLB Service Time: 0.050
|June 5, 2007: Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1st round, 61st overall; signed on June 28.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 18, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals.
November 3, 2014: Contract purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals.
November 2, 2015: Outrighted to AAA by the St. Louis Cardinals.
November 6, 2015: Became a free agent.
January 4, 2016: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.