KYLE WILKIE, CATCHER
|Born: October 20, 1997
Drafted: 12th Round, 364th Overall, 2019
How Acquired: Draft
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Pirates needed catching going into the 2019 draft, but they waited until the 12th round to make their first pick at the position. Wilkie was a two-sport star in high school, also playing quarterback. That strong arm translates behind the plate, though there are questions about his overall defense and durability. He has been a two-year starter at Clemson, taking over behind the plate at the very end of his freshman year. Wilkie put up a .307/.400/.431 slash line in 144 games over three seasons, which almost mirrors his junior season stats. While they weren’t out of hand as a sophomore, he cut down on his strikeouts as a junior, striking out 34 times in 254 plate appearances. He signed a week after the draft and is probably the top candidate for the starting catcher spot at West Virginia.
Wilkie was the regular catcher at West Virginia after he signed. His defense still probably could use some work, as he had 11 passed balls in 40 games. He threw out 28% of base stealers. On offense, Wilkie hit very little except for one three-game stretch late in the year in which he went 12-for-15. After that, he slumped again and finished the year in a 4-for-40 slide. He had a good BB:K ratio, but showed no power. Wilkie struggled badly against RHPs, with a .527 OPS. He had a .777 OPS against LHPs.
With several catching prospects available in class A, the Pirates employed Wilkie as a depth guy. He got limited playing time with each of the class A affiliates, hitting well at Bradenton but not at Greensboro. Wilkie threw out 23% of base stealers.
Wilkie was part of a long string of decent-to-good defensive catchers drafted out of college by the Pirates’ former front office. Except for Eli Wilson, none have hit at all. He should continue to get playing time, but it’s hard to guess where.
|2022: Minor league contract
MiLB Debut: 2019
MiLB FA Eligible: 2025
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 5, 2019: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 12th round, 364th overall pick; signed on June 12.|