On MLB Pipeline on Monday, they ranked the best defensive prospects at each position in the minors. Reese McGuire got the nod for catchers. It’s unknown exactly what they consider a good enough prospect for this list, but there are a few prospects listed who aren’t top 100 prospects in the game. The list was made up of a poll of various general managers, scouting directors and executives, as well as the opinions of the people at MLB Pipeline.
Back in October, Baseball America named Elias Diaz as the best defensive catcher in all of the minors. At this point he is more advanced than McGuire behind the plate, but Diaz is also 4 1/2 years older than McGuire and wasn’t as advanced behind the plate at the same age.
Regardless if Diaz was considered a good enough prospect for the MLB Pipeline list, the two lists show that the Pirates have two of the best defensive catchers in the minors. Assuming McGuire starts the year at Altoona, that also means they will have those catchers starting at the top two level of their minor league system.
Update 12:52pm: Jonathan Mayo just let me know that McGuire was in fact rated ahead of Diaz, though the latter drew consideration for the top spot. Says a lot for the Pirates’ ability to find great defensive catchers. It should also be pointed out that Jacob Stallings, who will be at either Indianapolis or Altoona, is a terrific defensive catcher as well, he just doesn’t have the offensive potential to qualify as a prospect. His defense could get him to the majors as a backup though.