Reese McGuire had four hits today.

Josh Bell and Reese McGuire Receive Best Tools Honors

Baseball America continued their Best Tools lists today, looking at all of the players in full-season A-ball. Yesterday I wrote about how the Pittsburgh Pirates had a few guys make the list in the upper levels, including Elias Diaz being named the Best Defensive Catcher in the Eastern League, and Gregory Polanco being named the Best Batting Prospect and the Most Exciting Player in the International League.

The Pirates had two more prospects winning Best Tools honors in A-ball. Josh Bell was named the Best Batting Prospect in the Florida State League. He has since moved up to Double-A, but Bell posted a .335/.384/.502 line in 331 at-bats while he was in Bradenton. It’s a little surprising that Tyler Glasnow didn’t win any honors, although a lot of the pitching awards went to Jose Berrios, who posted a 1.96 ERA in 96.1 innings, with a 109:23 K/BB ratio. That had the same dominance that Glasnow has, without a lot of the control issues.

In the Low-A list, the Pirates had another defensive catcher award. This time, Reese McGuire was named the Best Defensive Catcher in the South Atlantic League. Last night I wrote about how Elias Diaz is the top catching prospect for the Pirates in the upper levels, even ahead of Tony Sanchez. McGuire is the top catching prospect in the system. However, he’s much further away than Diaz. He has a .257/.301/.315 line in 327 at-bats this year. McGuire shows some potential with the bat, while making solid contact that could lead to some power as he gets older and stronger. If the bat develops as expected, then he could be an All-Star starting catcher.

It should be noted that Diaz also struggled with the bat in A-ball, while showing a lot of raw hitting potential. He had a .607 OPS in West Virginia in his age 20 season, then returned to post a .549 OPS the next year. Last year he had a .781 OPS in Bradenton at the age of 22, and this year he’s breaking out in Altoona with an .822 OPS at the age of 23. McGuire has a .616 OPS in his age 19 season, so he’s a little bit ahead of where Diaz was, with plenty of time to show improvements.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

First Pitch: Is Diaz the Number One Catcher? When Will Glasnow Be Promoted?

Next Story »

Which Pirates Prospects Need to be Protected From the 2014 Rule 5 Draft?

  • Jared

    Intersting that Glasnow did not make the list in any tool, especially the fastball. He is absolutely destroying the FSL. Berrios gave up more runs, more hits, and hit more batters in less innings, although obviously Glasnow walked more batters. Berrios also did not have the year last year that Glasnow had coming into this season. Just very surprised to not see Glasnow (a top 20 prospect) not make the list in any regard.

    • Ian Rothermund

      Maybe that’s a good thing. Points to him being more than a 1 trick pony.

  • freddylang

    I am hoping Diaz can develop into a Carlos Ruiz type of catcher…average to above average at pretty much everything and a nice total overall package that can be you catcher 100 or so games a year for 7-8 years.

  • Kenny Moore

    If Josh Bell can stay healthy he will be a better pro than both Polanco and Marte. This kids future is limitless. I think he is a top 15 prospect and is our best prospect overall beating out both Glasnow and JT.

    I have looked and looked for days trying to find out if Huntington offered Bell in the deal for David Price. The trade had to have been built around him or Glasnow and with our OF being full I think Huntington offered Bell and the Rays missed out on a elite prospect.

Latest Analysis

  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    18 hours ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    2 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    4 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    5 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    7 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More