If you’ve read an article or mock draft in the last week then you have probably seen Reese McGuire slotted at the number 9 spot. Jim Callis, Keith Law, Jonthan Mayo, Kiley McDaniel, and multiple Bleacher Report articles all have the 18 year old catcher going to the Pirates with their first pick in the draft. Of course, this is fueled by the fact that Neal Huntington himself flew out to Convington, Washington to watch the kid play. Twice.
McGuire, (6-1/190), is an extremely athletic catcher with elite defense. He has great arm strenth coupled with accuracy and a quick release. He pairs that rocket arm by being a brick wall behind the plate. It’s a rare sight to see a ball get by McGuire despite his smaller size right now. His defense alone would make McGuire a candidate for a first-round pick. Catcher and Shortstop are the most likely positions where you sacrifice offense for defense. That isn’t the case with McGuire. His hitting ability that propels him from just a first-rounder into the top-10. He already hits for a high average and often finds the alley. McGuire has a smooth sweet stroke from the left side that we know would play well at PNC. He also has the frame to fill out and develop a good amount of power.
After McGuire fills out he should be a consistent batter that hits for a lot of doubles and double digit homers. Many scouts have pegged him as one of the few prospects in this draft that is close to a “lock”. Much of this is also due to the fact that he has been considered a top-prospect for two years and already has premium defense and athleticism. So how does he fit in with the Pirates?
After Tony Sanchez, the Pirates’ list of catching prospects is pretty thin. Wyatt Mathieson, a second-round pick last year, has been disappointing so far, hitting for a .185 average with no homeruns in Low A. He’s still young but isn’t having the type of season you’d like to see from a top prep-hitter. Mathieson also possesses the athleticism to move to other positions if and when the hitting comes around. Having too many catching prospects is never a problem and McGuire would instantly increase the Pirates’ current batch. With Sanchez on his way to Pittsburgh in the near future (hopefully), McGuire would automatically become the top prospect at the position and wouldn’t have anyone blocking him for a long while. Right now, I’d be shock if McGuire wasn’t going to the Pirates in the draft.