2009 Thunder A-Z: P.J. Pilittere

Before 2009: After a very successful collegiate career at Cal State-Fullerton, the Yankees selected Pilittere in the 13th round of the 2004 draft.  After a tough offensive season at Staten Island in 2004 (.215/0/11), Pilittere repeated Short Season-A in 2005 and was challenged with a jump to High-A Tampa in 2006 after showing improvement with the Baby Bombers.

Pilittere put together what would ultimately be the best season of his professional career in Tampa, hitting a career best .302 and adding career highs in home runs (5) and stolen bases (3), as well 38 RBI.  He was assigned to Double-A Trenton in 2007, and despite two seasons there where he played in no fewer than 97 games and hit no less than .261, his career seemed to stall out in the Yankees organization.

2009: Things seemed promising for Pilittere in 2009, as he started the season in Triple-A Scranton, his first time playing at the highest level of the minor leagues.  But, stuck behind several backstops with big league time, Pilittere only saw sporadic playing time and was occasionally placed on the phantom DL.  Sent down to Double-A Trenton in early August after Jesus Montero was injured, Pilittere finally got some much-needed playing time, but wasn’t able to take advantage of it, hitting just .198 in 96 at-bats.

After 2009: Pilittere is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet in baseball or otherwise.  It is impossible to not root for a guy like him, and as unprofessional as it may be to say, I hope he makes the big leagues one day…but I don’t think there are too many people who see that happening with the Yankees organization.  A clutch hitter and a natural leader, Pilittere is known as a solid game-caller, but possesses a below-average arm, which has likely halted his progress in the organization.

2010 appears to be another uphill battle for the friendly backstop, as Jesus Montero and Mike Rivera seem to be in line to be the catchers in Scranton. 

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

3 Responses to “2009 Thunder A-Z: P.J. Pilittere”

  1. Dave S. Staten Island Says:

    Thanks Mike…

  2. yanksince57 - LET'S ROLL! Says:

    probably, he’s already decided whether he’s willing to toil much more as the organizational stopgap. may be trenton bound to back up romine, as swb will be forcefeeding games to JESUS H. MONTERO all year, and rivera is an excellent sub there unless he is needed for a nyy emergency 😦

  3. Dave S. Staten Island Says:

    Yeah, PJ will do what the club tells him. He loves baseball. I believe PJ will be free to sign with a org. that doesn’t have a hundered catching prospects. I hope he can do like Omir Santos and get into the show .

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