Pitching Prospect Deck McGuire Struggles for Toronto Blue Jays, but Will Prevail

Bill Ford@billfordwritesCorrespondent IIIMay 2, 2013

Pitching prospect Deck McGuire struggles, but has what it takes to overcome and prevail
Pitching prospect Deck McGuire struggles, but has what it takes to overcome and prevailNick Laham/Getty Images

Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Deck McGuire, ranked No. 14 in the Jays organization for 2013 by MLB.com, continues to struggle this season.

McGuire was selected by Toronto with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft. During a fairly successful 2011 season in Single-A down in Dunedin, he was promoted to Double-A to play for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

He finished the 2011 season with a less than impressive 4.35 ERA for the Fisher Cats, which was an abrupt change from his 2.75 ERA with Dunedin.

Likely a season that he would prefer to forget, McGuire suffered a dismal 2012 season with NH posting an ERA of 5.88, five wins and 15 losses. He gave up 162 hits, 103 runs, 94 earned runs, 22 home runs and 62 walks in 144 innings pitched.

Although he had a difficult and painful 2012 season, it does not accurately reflect the true pitcher that he is or his future potential.

As of now, McGuire has a win-loss record of 1-2. In the five games that he has pitched this season, he has given up 24 hits, 18 runs, 17 earned runs, one home run and 14 walks in 26 innings pitched. His current 5.88 ERA is reminiscent of last season.

Those numbers may make fans twitch, but the 2013 season is still fresh. He has plenty of time to refine his pitches, form and pitch placement.

McGuire has had some decent experience to build his skills. He certainly needs more time, but he seems to be more aware and in-tune with what he must do to improve.

During the offseason, he stated that he allowed himself to get caught up in the hype of professional baseball. After demonstrating high-quality pitching in high school and college, he was surprised at his lack of dominance in pro ball.

The minor leagues can be a double-edged sword for up-and-coming prospects. The minors exist so that players can fine-tune and refine their skills to compete for a spot on an MLB roster.

What players face in the minors presents a huge obstacle—they must consistently perform well and show consistent improvement to be able to advance through the farm system and make it to the majors.

With the decline in McGuire's performance from Single-A to Double-A, he faces a more difficult, uphill battle than others. What I see as a difference that will enhance him professionally is his maturity to accept his failures in the past and recognize the changes that he must make for his future.

2013 will be an interesting season to observe McGuire on the mound. He has the potential to be a powerful presence with intimidating command. This season presents him with a valuable opportunity to regain his focus and to prove himself.

Don't write him off just because of a single, although terrible, 2012 season. McGuire may not have a stellar 2013 season, but I think that he will develop himself into a solid pitcher that will lead him to Triple-A.