Player: Reese McGuire
Drafted by: Pittsburgh Pirates (No. 14 Overall)
DOB: 3/2/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’1”/190 lbs
School: Kentwood (Wash.) HS
College Commitment: San Diego
Even though the 2013 draft class features a dearth of talent behind the plate, Reese McGuire’s present ability and future potential at the position should make him a first-round talent.
A known commodity in the scouting industry since entering high school, McGuire didn’t establish himself as a high-level draft prospect until last fall while playing for the USA 18U national team. Although he didn’t see that much time behind the plate due to the presence of fellow draft prospects Chris Okey and Jeremy Martinez, McGuire showed off his athleticism and versatility at numerous positions. More importantly, the left-handed hitter thrived at the plate, as he batted .400 with 11 RBI over 13 games and helped guide the USA squad to a world championship.
Meanwhile, the noticeable improvements made by McGuire this spring—as well as the sliding stock of several of his peers—have led to a consensus ranking that he is the top catching prospect in the 2013 draft class.
While his defense alone will make McGuire an impact player at the next level, it’s the development of his offense that could ultimately separate him from the field.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Sound, balanced swing from the left side; works the ball from line to line thanks to improved barrel control and simplified stride; compact swing with present bat-to-ball ability; keeps upper body and head still throughout weight transfer and contact; hits the ball on the nose and generates plenty of loud contact; pitch recognition has improved as he’s become more comfortable going the other way.
Average power potential; generates lots of strength from core and lower half; present gap power; has shown a leveraged swing during batting practice but is capable of more consistent power frequency; rarely sells out during games; hope is that he at least taps into his pull-side power; could benefit from a more aggressive approach that has him attacking the ball.
McGuire’s speed can be overshadowed by the other impressive aspects of his game; average-to-above-average runner aided by overall athleticism; gets out of the box and down the line; double-digit stolen base potential; smart baserunner.
Plus defensive profile behind the plate; outstanding combination of athleticism, tools and baseball IQ will allow him to remain at the position; really quick feet; moves well laterally; outstanding blocker who smothers balls in the dirt with ease; decent receiver with soft hands and promising framing skills; ridiculously fast transfer with consistent sub-1.9-second pop times; present feel for sequencing and game-calling.
Near-elite arm strength (seriously—the kid has an absolute hose); tremendous natural ability; legitimate weapon who should stymie the running game at every professional level; quick release with excellent accuracy.
MLB Player Comparison: Kurt Suzuki
Projection: Everyday MLB catcher for first-division team; multiple Gold Gloves.
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 99.9 percent