The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted catcher Taylor Gushue from the University of Florida in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB draft. Gushue is young for a college player, graduating early from high school in December 2011, and enrolling in Florida the following Spring. So despite being drafted out of college, he’s only 20 years old.
After Mike Zunino was drafted, Gushue moved behind the plate for Florida, and put up some good numbers at the plate. This year he hit for a .320/.389/.473 line with six homers in 222 at-bats. Baseball America had him rated 107th, and says he could be a below-average hitter with average raw power. He’s a switch hitter, and has a quick swing from both sides of the plate, although BA says he’s not quick enough to be an elite hitter.
Behind the plate, Gushue has the chance to remain a catcher. He’s got a good frame, is a good receiver, and has an average to above-average arm. He’s shown improvements with his defense, and looks like a solid all-around catcher.
The Pirates have Reese McGuire as their catcher of the future, and Gushue will probably trail him, likely playing in Jamestown this year and going to West Virginia in 2015.