LUCAS MAY
CATCHER
Born: October 24, 1984
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 8th Round, 241st overall, 2003 (Dodgers)
How acquired: Minor League FA
High School: Parkway West HS, Ballwin, MO
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Dodgers originally drafted May as an infielder.  He played short initially for them, then the outfield, until they shifted him to catcher in his fourth pro season.  He’s shown good power throughout much of his career, but has always been held back by poor walk and K rates, resulting from struggles with offspeed and breaking stuff.  He has a good arm, but otherwise is not considered good defensively behind the plate.  He had slightly above-average speed earlier in his career, but seems to have slowed down.

2003
R:  252/350/302, 159 AB, 8 2B, 19 BB, 38 K, 11-12 SB

May played shortstop exclusively in his debut season in rookie ball.  Aside from a good walk rate he didn’t do much offensively.

2004
R+:  286/329/449, 147 AB, 5 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 8 BB, 37 K, 4-7 SB

The Dodgers continued playing May at short in advanced rookie ball and he also started hitting with more authority, although his plate discipline went off a cliff.

2005
A:  229/267/345, 385 AB, 14 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 16 BB, 92 K, 5-7 SB

May split his time between short and left, and also served as DH about a third of the time.  He struggled to hit, plagued by an extremely low walk rate.

2006
A:  273/332/493, 450 AB, 27 2B, 9 3B, 18 HR, 35 BB, 130 K, 14-16 SB

The Dodgers sent May back to low A and moved him full time to the outfield, where he divided his time between all three spots.  His plate discipline remained poor, but he increased his walk rate to just low instead of abysmal, and hit for good power.

2007
A+:  256/313/465, 507 AB, 25 2B, 3 3B, 25 HR, 36 BB, 107 K, 5-12 SB

The Dodgers moved May behind the plate in high A.  He hit for a lot of power, but his continued to suffer from a poor walk rate.  His numbers also have to be discounted due to the fact that it was the hitting-happy California League.  He managed to throw out 29% of base stealers, but also led the minors in passed balls despite catching only 78 games.  Still, BA chose him as the Dodgers’ 17th best prospect after the season.

2008
AA:  230/294/403, 392 AB, 27 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 32 BB, 112 K, 6-7 SB

May struggled to hit, and with the strike zone, in AA.

2009
AA:  306/390/468, 235 AB, 18 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 31 BB, 58 K, 3-4 SB

May returned to AA and made significant progress at bat, with by far his highest walk rate since his first year.  Unfortunately, he missed six weeks with a broken wrist.  He threw out 35% but also continued to struggle with passed balls.

2010
AA (LAD):  167/259/208, 24 AB, 1 2B, 2 BB, 7 K
AAA (LAD):  296/352/496, 260 AB, 13 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 22 BB, 60 K, 4-6 SB
AAA (KC):  275/362/516, 91 AB, 7 2B, 5 HR, 12 BB, 19 K
MLB (KC):  189/205/216, 37 AB, 1 2B, 10 K, 0-1 SB

The Dodgers sent May to AAA, except for a brief stint in AA, then traded him to Kansas City in a deadline deal for Scott Podsednik.  May continued to hit for good power with shaky plate discipline, although his numbers in AAA with the Dodgers were probably helped by the strong hitting environment at Albuquerque.  He got a September callup, his only major league stint, with the Royals.

2011
AAA (KC):  176/263/329, 85 AB, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 BB, 22 K
AAA (Ari):  270/363/479, 163 AB, 13 2B, 7 HR, 23 BB, 42 K, 2-4 SB

The Royals dfa’d May at the end of spring training and outrighted him to AAA.  He struggled badly there, but returned to form after a June 1 trade to Arizona.  He shared the catching duties at both stops.

2012
AAA:  215/245/348, 256 AB, 19 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 10 BB, 74 K, 2-3 SB

May signed with the Mets and spent the season with their AAA affiliate, where he did about half the catching.  His hitting collapsed, obviously including his plate discipline.

2013
AAA:  226/277/301, 186 AB, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 43 K, 1-1 SB

After trading Ramon Cabrera, the Pirates were short of catching at the upper levels of their system, so they signed May.  He spent the season with Indianapolis, with his playing time depending on the other catchers on the roster.  With Tony Sanchez there, he played sparingly the first two months. May got more playing time after that, but his hitting struggles of the previous year continued.  He threw out 19% of base stealers.

May’s best attribute was power, but it’s deserted him in recent years.  He’ll be a free agent and the Pirates should be able to find better catching depth.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2013: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $100,000
MiLB Debut: 2003
MLB Debut: 9/4/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: 2019
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: November 20, 2007
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2008, 2009, 2010)
MLB Service Time: 0.039
TRANSACTIONS
June 3, 2003: Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 8th round, 241st overall pick; signed on June 6.
November 20, 2007: Contract purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
July 28, 2010: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Elisaul Pimentel to the Kansas City Royals for Scott Podsednik.
March 30, 2011: Designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals; outrighted to AAA on April 5.
June 1, 2011: Traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Andrea Pizziconi.
November 2, 2011: Became a free agent.
December 12, 2011: Signed as a minor league free agent with the New York Mets.
November 3, 2012: Became a free agent.
January 4, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.