Henry Davis Signs Reported $6.5M Pirates Contract After Going No. 1 in 2021 MLB Draft

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2021

DENVER, CO - JULY 12: Henry Davis, a catcher for the Louisville Cardinals who was selected first overall in the 2021 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates talks to reporters during the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day outside of Coors Field on July 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced Sunday they've signed catcher Henry Davis, the first overall pick in the 2021 MLB draft.

Pittsburgh Pirates @Pirates

Pen to paper. ✍️ <a href="https://t.co/bL1KPfDyy9">pic.twitter.com/bL1KPfDyy9</a>

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported it's a $6.5 million contract.

Davis was eligible for the 2018 draft coming out of Fox Lane High School in Bedford, New York. Only one team called him that year to inquire about his contract demands to skip college: the Pirates.

"They asked what I wanted, they told me what they were offering, and we weren't even close," he told John Perrotto of Forbes last week.

Davis proceeded to shine across three years at the University of Louisville. He compiled a .337 batting average and .435 on-base percentage with 21 home runs, 84 runs batted in, 71 runs scored and 11 stolen bases across 109 appearances for the Cardinals.

He became the second catcher taken first overall in the past three years, joining the Baltimore Orioles' Adley Rutschman. Before that, the last backstop to go No. 1 was Minnesota Twins legend Joe Mauer in 2001.

Catchers typically have a slightly slower development curve than other positions. Mauer didn't make his debut until 2004 and became a full-time MLB player for the first time in 2005. Rutschman is currently at the Double-A level in the O's system.

So the Pirates, who ultimately landed Davis despite the additional three-year wait, are likely going to wait a few more seasons before he's ready to help the big league club.

He's a terrific all-around prospect, however, with plenty of pop in his bat and rock-solid defense. He's also got the athleticism to eventually switch to another position, much like how Mauer moved to first base later in his career with the Twins.

All told, Davis is a low-risk selection who should be a franchise cornerstone once he reaches MLB.