Yesterday we heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates would be signing first round pick Reese McGuire today. Today the Pirates made the move official. No word yet on the bonus, although McGuire was expected to sign for close to slot. The catcher will head to the Gulf Coast League, which begins on Friday.
After the draft, Jessica Quiroli reported that McGuire had made the decision to go pro. He couldn’t sign until after his high school graduation, which was this past weekend.
McGuire was the top catching prospect in the 2013 draft. He’s got great defensive skills, which will allow him to stick behind the plate for the long-run. That’s never a guarantee for prep catchers, but McGuire’s defense is unlike most prep players, highlighted by above-average receiving, blocking, and arm skills. He’s also been calling his own games since the age of 10, so he’s well ahead of where most catchers are at that age.
The questions about McGuire surround his bat. Some think he has the hitting skills to be a starter in the majors, with a good stroke, good bat speed, the ability to hit for average and the ability to hit for some power. Others feel his bat won’t progress enough to hit as a regular.
UPDATE 2:04 PM: Travis Sawchik reports that McGuire’s deal is slightly under slot.
McGuire's deal is for just under the slot value for the 14th overall pick ($2.56 million), according to a source
— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) June 18, 2013
That’s only $9,800 saved from his total slot price, so it’s not a huge amount saved.
UPDATE 2:36 PM: Jim Callis has a different figure.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 18, 2013
That makes a bit more sense, as it saves $200,800. That makes more sense than the Pirates signing McGuire for less than $10,000 under slot.