According to the latest prospect rankings list from MLB.com, Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Reese McGuire is the seventh-best catching prospect in all of Major League Baseball – a promising sign for a team that lost Russell Martin this offseason via free agency.
The 14th overall pick in the 2013 June draft, McGuire’s work behind the dish was praised in the prospect breakdown – and his future at the plate as a hitter projects to be solid, as well.
"The earliest selection among high school catchers in the past six Drafts, he went 14th overall in 2013. McGuire’s defense ranks ahead of his offense at this point, with his throwing, receiving and framing all rating as above average. He has a knack for making contact and using the entire field, and he should develop at least gap power once he gets stronger."
Still just 19, McGuire spent most of his first season in professional baseball with the Bucs’ Rookie level affiliate in Florida. In 46 games, he batted .330/.388/.392, adding 11 doubles and 21 RBI before earning a promotion late in the year. With the Pirates’ Low-A affiliate in Jamestown, he was still solid – although his numbers weren’t quite as impressive.
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Last year, with Class-A West Virginia, McGuire responded well, putting together a respectable season, throwing out 39 percent of would-be base-stealers, while batting .262/.307/.334 in a career-high 98 games.
At the big league level, the Pirates are heading into 2015 with several options behind the plate in the wake of Martin’s signing with the Toronto Blue Jays this winter, including Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart and Tony Sanchez. At the earliest, it appears that McGuire wouldn’t join the big league club for at least a couple more seasons.
Preceding him on the rankings was fellow National League Central prospect Kyle Schwarber (third overall) – and a mix of other notable names, including overall top catching prospect Blake Swihart (Boston) and Jorge Alfaro (Rangers).