Francisco Cervelli, Catcher, Pittsburgh Pirates, #29
Date of Birth: 3/6/1986
Birthplace: Valencia, Venezuela
Francisco Cervelli, catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, played in Venezuela before being signed by the New York Yankees in March, 2003. He played in the Yankees' minor league system from 2005 through most of 2009, joining the Yankees for 3 games in 2008 and 42 games in 2009.
In 2010, Cervelli played in 93 games with the Yankees. He finished the season with 72 hits, 11 doubles, 38 RBIs, and a .271 batting average. As a catcher, he made 45 assists, 579 putouts, and 13 errors in 90 games.
Cervelli missed most of the 2011 season with a broken foot. As the Yankees' backup catcher, he played in just 43 games that year. The following season, he lost the backup position to Chris Stewart and he spent most of the season in the minor leagues, playing in just three games with the Yankees in 2012.
Cervelli had another streak of bad luck in 2013, suffering a hand fracture on April 26, 2013. Then, in August, he was suspended for 50 games due to his involvement with the Biogenesis lab. Although he was scheduled to be the Yankees' starting catcher in 2013, he ended up playing in just 17 games. He started the 2014 season again on the DL, returning to the Yankees in mid-June as the backup catcher to Brian McCann. He finished the 2014 season with 44 hits and a .301 batting average in 49 games.
Cervelli was traded to the Pirates on November 12, 2014. He finished the 2015 season with 133 hits, 17 doubles, 43 RBIs, and a .295 batting average. As the Pirates' regular catcher, he made 82 assists, 992 putouts, and 7 errors in 128 games. He caught players trying to steal 22.3% of the time and he had a .994 fielding percentage. He had one hit in three at-bats in the postseason Wild Card game.
Cervelli signed a three-year, $31 million contract extension with the Pirates on May 17, 2016. He finished the 2016 season with a .264 batting average, 86 hits, 14 doubles, and 33 RBIs in 101 games with the Pirates. Defensively, as the Pirates' catcher in 95 games, he made 71 assists, 693 putouts, and 7 errors. He had a .991 fielding percentage and he caught players trying to steal 19.3% of the time.
Cervelli spent time on the DL in 2017, limiting his playing time to 81 games. He batted .249 with 66 hits, 13 doubles, 31 RBIs, and 65 strikeouts to 32 walks. Defensively, as the Pirates' catcher in 78 games, he made 47 assists, 500 putouts, and 5 errors. He caught players trying to steal 20% of the time.
Career batting statistics for Cervelli through 2017 include:
- 562 games played
- 476 hits
- 199 RBIs
- 366 strikeouts to 198 walks
- .275 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Cervelli as a catcher through 2017 include:
- 537 games played
- 303 assists
- 3,724 putouts
- 44 errors
- .211 caught stealing percentage
- .989 fielding percentage