Reese McGuire Ranks Among Top Catching Prospects

On MLB.com, they continued on today with their top ten prospects at each position, going with catchers today. The Pittsburgh Pirates Reese McGuire was named their seventh best catching prospect, giving the Pirates three straight positions with one representative. On Tuesday, Alen Hanson was named the eighth best shortstop prospect, while yesterday it was Jameson Taillon coming in fifth for right-handed pitchers and Tyler Glasnow just missing out on the list.

The Pirates had a great draft, and it wasn't just because of first round picks like Reese McGuire.

Reese McGuire ranks seventh among all catching prospects

Reese McGuire was the Pirates second first round pick in 2013, going 14th overall. He signed right away and went to the Gulf Coast League, where he had a .330/.388/.392 slash line in 46 games. McGuire received a late promotion to Jamestown and ended up catching two playoff games. He threw out 44% of base runners between both stops, gunning down runners on 18 of 41 attempted steals.

He is known for his advanced defense and it shows in their ratings. On the 20-80 scouting scale, McGuire was given a 65 for his arm and 60 for his fielding, putting him as the second best defensive catcher on the list. His bat ranks behind his glove, but it still received solid average ratings of 55 for hitting and 50 for power. McGuire also rates as one of the better running catchers on the list.

The Pirates have some depth at the catching position, with Tony Sanchez likely to take over full-time duties in Pittsburgh in 2015 and three low-level catchers, McGuire, Wyatt Mathisen and Jin-De-Jhang all highly rated. They also have some solid defensive catchers in Elias Diaz, Carlos Paulino and Jacob Stallings that work well with the young pitchers in the system. McGuire is the highest rated of them all and while Tony Sanchez right now has the best chance to be a solid regular in the majors, McGuire has the highest ceiling. Most project him to be a Gold Glove caliber defender, that can hit for a decent average and add 10-15 homers a season.

The top ten prospects continue tomorrow with first baseman, which is a weak spot in the Pirates farm system. It then starts back up on Monday with second baseman, Tuesday with third baseman and wraps up Wednesday with the outfielders.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    Long way to go, but it sounds promising for us at the catcher position.

    As for second basemen, arguably, could Hanson be figured into THAT position, also?

    • John Dreker

      We could consider him a possibility there, but for the prospect rankings, he won’t be named again.

      • Mr. Goodkat

        Wonder if we’ll see one Dilson Herrera on there?

        No idea what the 2B pool of prospects looks like…

        • SportOMania

          He played in the futures game so there is a good chance, That was and is a horrible trade.

          • Mr. Goodkat

            From an acquisition standpoint, it was a good trade. Byrd was a good boost to the team down the stretch, and exactly the type of player they needed to acquire.

            From a strict VALUE perspective, it was awful. Way too much for a 2 month rental.

            From an internal value perspective it was still an overpay, but not nearly as much due to depth at those positions.

            In hindsight, it was the kind of deal the Pirates can’t afford to be making again. Admit it though — it was a fun ride last year after acquiring Byrd!

            • MDFitness1975

              Dilson Herrera was certainly a steep price for Byrd, but at the time I thought it was a risk worth taking given the Pirates hole in RF and the fact that Byrd was hitting so well (850-ish OPS).

              After the fact, in hindsight, now that its over? It may go down as one of my favorite trades in sports history. Byrd was the PERFECT addition – great guy, positive attitude, a leader, played solid D in RF, and he continued to hit. Without Byrd, who knows if the Bucs make the play-offs (they probably do anyway, but you never know, Byrd had some big hits those last 2 months).

              And from a personal standpoint, he gave me one of the most chill-inducing moments of my life as my wife and I sat in a packed PNC Park and watched him set the table off Cueto with a BOMB to deep left. And he continued to hit through the play-offs, and if it wasnt for a flukey-Freese homer of Cole in Game 5 – who knows how many more big hits Byrd would have had.

              I wish Herrera and Black the best, but that was EXACTLY the type of trade contending teams with legit minor league talent and depth pull off.

              • Mr. Goodkat

                Completely disagree with your last sentence.

                From a value standpoint the Mets fleeced the Bucs. If they make one of those trades each year (two top 20 prospects!) at the deadline it WILL catch up to them.

                Byrd was exactly what they needed last year. He was fun to watch. But no, they can’t keep making moves like that year in year out. Part of building “legit minor league talent” is NOT making such trades with any type of regularity.

                • MDFitness1975

                  Valid point Mr. G. Didnt think of it that way, you are right, losing 2 of your top 20-ish prospects each year would not be a good thing! Though I dont worry as much about relief pitches given the Pirates depth there and the year after year ability of the FO to find capable arms on the cheap, losing one of our few middle infield prospects was certainly not ideal.

                  That being said, last year we gave up prospects 7ish, 10ish and 14ish in Grossman, Owens and Man I Already Forgot His Name. And as proven by the number 1 ranking from BA, our farm system was and is strong enough to handle losing what amounts to 5 Top 20ish prospects over the last two years.

                  I still say we are built to trade from our depth IF the right deal/player is there at the deadline. Guys like Bell and Heredia on the high end, and Holmes and Barnes on the middle end, are to me available for the right price given that Glasnow, Kingham, Taillon, Polanco, Meadows, etc are still in the system.

          • RonLoreski

            How can you say that was a horrible trade? Maybe the Pirates don’t even make the postseason without Byrd. Everything can’t be about value.

  • stickyweb

    I gotta say, I’m disappointed in McGuire. SLG under .400 at the lowest level? He better start doing something to justify the pick and money the Bucs have given him.

    Sorry. I thought I’d just continue the streak of one of the Pirates guys being named a top prospect in all of baseball at their position and then have a commenter bitch about them not being Cal Ripken or Nolan Ryan. According to McGuire’s evaluation, he MAY not be Johnny Bench. What a disappointment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.brooks.581 Stephen Brooks

      You should have just left it at the first paragraph and enjoyed the responses, stickyweb.

    • P4L

      I lol’ed. Immediately thought of that guy who is dissappointed in Taillon.

    • BostonsCommon

      Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round and managed to hit 427 HRs. This kid went 14th overall and didn’t hit 1!!!

      Get riddah him!!

      • Mr. Goodkat

        …can this Piazza fella play 1B?

        • John Dreker

          He can play first base about as good as he can catch…which means no

      • Ginnye

        Are home runs the ONLY thing important to you? Give the kid a break loser.

        • BostonsCommon

          That comment was made with tongue firmly planted in cheek there Ginnye. I think Reese had a wonderful debut as a pro.

  • PiratesForever

    I really hope Meadows and McGuire are up at double-A and preform well enough to make the All-Stars because I got tickets to go to the All-Star game and the hitting contest. Oh by the I have season tickets for Sunday home games in Altoona

    • John Dreker

      Better save up for season tickets for next year, that is the earliest you will see either and it won’t be until mid-season. Both will be playing for West Virginia this season and if recent history has taught us anything, they will both be there the entire year, then head to Bradenton in 2015

  • emjayinTN

    Quite an honor for McGuire, and well earned by him. Playing all of 2013 as an 18 year old fresh from high school, he served notice that he would be a contender for the Catching position for the Pirates. That 44% average of throwing out base stealers is very similar to that of Russell Martin, and much better than the rate of Tony Sanchez. He’s young and still has a long way to go, but he is extremely driven to excel. The biggest doubt was the bat and he answered all of those questions with an excellent slash line in the GCL. Defensively, he blocks well, has ++ feet, a + arm, and has been calling his own games since age 10. This is a Ballplayer, a leader, and a take charge type of player. The Pirates have planned to go through 2014 without Tony Sanchez, and allow him the time to hone his skills at AAA – hitting and defense. If McGuire picks up in 2014 where he left off in 2013, he may have a big effect on those future plans of the Pirates for the Catcher position.

  • dr dng

    Will I get to see McGuire in Charleston this season?

    • John Dreker

      He will likely start the season with the Power, though there is a bit of a logjam at catcher with Wyatt Mathisen and Jin De-Jhang, so there is a chance McGuire might stay in extended spring training early on and join the team once one of them shows they can move. I would say worst case, he’s there from May until the end of the season. We will know more once they get to minor league camp and we see what teams they are all playing with. Usually they separate the guys early and you can sort of figure out who will go where, at least get a good idea.