MATT PAGNOZZI
CATCHER
Born: March 9, 1985
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 8th Round, 245th Overall, 2003
How Acquired: Claimed off waivers from Colorado Rockies
College: Central Arizona College
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

In a baffling move, the Pirates claimed Pagnozzi off waivers from Colorado in mid-September 2011.  He’s a career AAA catcher with no hitting ability whatsoever; his career line in the minors is a miserable 220/296/306, and he strikes out a lot.  In nine seasons in the minors, he never managed even a .650 OPS until 2011, when he was playing in the hitters’ haven of Colorado Springs.  He’s considered a good defensive catcher, although that may just be by operation of Nichols’ Law of Catcher Defense.  He has thrown out 35% of base stealers in his minor league career.  He has no speed.

2003
A-:  178/302/237, 152 AB, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 23 BB, 42 K, 3-5 SB

In short season ball, Pagnozzi had pretty much the same year at the plate he’d have every year through 2010.  He didn’t hit for average or power, and struck out a lot, nearly a quarter of his ABs.  He threw out 51% of base stealers.

2004
A:  209/277/265, 215 AB, 10 2B, 1 3B, 15 BB, 54 K, 4-5 SB

Again didn’t hit at all and struck out in a quarter of his ABs.  His high K rate has remained remarkably consistent throughout his career, despite the absence of any power.  He committed 18 passed balls, but that wasn’t a problem in later years.

2005
A+:  193/278/267, 187 AB, 11 2B, 1 HR, 20 BB, 49 K, 3-5 SB
AA:  139/225/167, 36 AB, 1 2B, 3 BB, 8 K

Hit below the Mendoza line in high A.  He got a late promotion to AA and hit .139.  He threw out 26% of base stealers in high A but none out of 16 in AA.

2006
A+:  216/283/328, 268 AB, 15 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 20 BB, 67 K, 0-1 SB

Returned to high A and managed to get above the Mendoza line, barely.  This time he threw out 47% of base stealers.

2007
AA:  209/261/279, 43 AB, 2 2B, 3 BB, 11 K
AAA:  220/275/305, 141 AB, 6 2B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 36 K, 1-1 SB

Got promoted to AAA after 13 games in AA.  He managed to top the Mendoza line slightly at both levels.  He threw out 28% of base stealers in AAA.

2008
AA:  236/294/324, 216 AB, 10 2B, 3 HR, 16 BB, 47 K, 2-3 SB
AAA:  200/429/400, 5 AB, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K

The Cards sent Pagnozzi back to AA and he had the same struggles at the plate as always.  His CS% was 40%.

2009
AAA:  221/299/308, 253 AB, 7 2B, 5 HR, 26 BB, 78 K, 0-1 SB
MLB:  000/250/000, 3 AB, 1 BB

Moved up to AAA and hit the same as ever.  His CS% was 24%.  He got called up when the Cards needed a backup catcher for the last week of the season.

2010
AAA:  242/338/309, 207 AB, 11 2B, 1 HR, 27 BB, 49 K
MLB:  359/405/487, 39 AB, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 8 K

Hit the same as always in AAA.  He got into 15 games with the Cardinals, but was outrighted after the season and signed a minor league deal with Colorado.

2011
AAA (Colo):  275/337/421, 178 AB, 13 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 16 BB, 40 K, 0-2 SB
MLB (Colo):  286/348/286, 21 AB, 1 BB, 8 K
MLB (Pgh):  250/250/250, 8 AB, 2 BB

Playing in hitting-happy Colorado Springs in the hitting-happy Pacific Coast League, Pagnozzi put up non-horrible numbers for the first time in his career.  The .758 OPS seems pretty decent, but the Sky Sox’ team OPS was .855.  His OPS at home was .821.  On the road–and remember that the PCL is a hitters’ league even without Colorado Springs–his OPS was .696.  Pagnozzi still struck out once every four and a half ABs.  The Rockies called him up in June when they needed a backup catcher and he got into seven games.  After the Pirates acquired him, he played in five games.  He went 2-for-8 at bat and 2-for-8 in throwing out base stealers.

It’s very difficult to understand why the Pirates claimed Pagnozzi, given the need to put him on the 40-man roster, because numerous catchers with good gloves and at least as much hitting ability as him are signed every year to minor league deals.  In the end, they outrighted Pagnozzi to AAA after signing Rod Barajas and claiming Brian Jeroloman off waivers.  After running through so many catchers in 2011, the team obviously is concerned about catching depth, but Pagnozzi has no potential for being an answer to any needs, not even as AAA depth.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2012: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $105,000
MiLB Debut: 2003
MLB Debut: 9/29/2009
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: 2017
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: March 30, 2008
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 0.088
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2001: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 40th round, 1188th overall.
June 3, 2003: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 8th round, 245th overall; signed on June 13.
September 23, 2009:  Contract purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals.
November 4, 2010: Outrighted by the St. Louis Cardinals.
November 6, 2010: Became a free agent.
November 29, 2010: Signed with the Colorado Rockies as a minor league free agent.
June 17, 2011: Called up and added to 40-man roster by the Colorado Rockies.
September 11, 2011: Designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies.
September 14, 2011: Claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
November 18, 2011: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.