Pirates surprisingly take Henry Davis 1st overall in MLB draft

Mary DeCicco / Major League Baseball / Getty

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Henry Davis, a catcher from Louisville, with the first overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft.

This marks the second time in three years a catcher has gone first overall after the Baltimore Orioles selected Adley Rutschman to begin the 2019 draft.

Davis could end up being another Cardinals-produced star backstop. Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith went to the same university, and he was a first-round selection (32nd overall) in 2016.

Davis hit .370/.482/.663 with 15 homers and 10 steals over 50 games with Louisville in 2021.

Before the draft, the Pirates were expected to go with prep shortstop Marcelo Mayer, though the first overall pick has been a source of conjecture for months leading up to the event. Mayer wound up falling to the Boston Red Sox at fourth overall.


Age: 21
Position: C
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 210 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
School: Louisville
Pick value (#1): $8,415,300


  • Outstanding arm
  • Solid offensive ceiling
  • Quick for a catcher

Why fans will love this player

  • A better prospect than Smith
  • Caught 34% of base-stealers over first two college seasons

Things he'll need to overcome

  • Too much of a pull hitter
  • Struggles to consistently handle pitchers with good stuff
Pirates surprisingly take Henry Davis 1st overall in MLB draft
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