BLUF: Top catcher in the draft with an advanced defensive profile and some offensive promise.
The Player: Reese McGuire (C, Kentwood HS) – Showcase warrior the last two years and hit .388 as a junior, he has backed it up with a strong performance as a senior. Has hit .436/.559/.883 this year with 13 doubles, three triples and four home runs.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-1, 190): Live, athletic body. Added some muscular definition in the last year. Looks the part of a backstop. Good coordination. Not completely physical mature but getting there and has some projection remaining.
Hit: Balanced, smooth swing with a quiet load. Gets the bat to the zone with consistent mechanics and has the bat speed to catch up to quality velocity. Can make contact with some regularity but still struggles with better secondary offerings. Tends to get pull happy with leads to some weak contact on pitches away from him. Likes to swing and will need to develop approach. Has basic tools to hit .260-.270 down the line. Will need significant development at the plate. Grade – 30/50
Power: Improved strength has allowed him drive the ball more consistently. Has above-average bat speed and some lift in his swing. Power is mostly to the pull side right now and limited to batting practice/workouts. Power does not translate to games consistently because of heavy focus on contact. Potential for power to play better as the approach matures and he becomes more comfortable with his swing and better secondary pitches. Average raw could be part of his game down the line. Not likely to pick up many doubles given lift in swing but could have 15+ home runs a year at peak. Grade (raw power) – 40/50
Arm: Above-average raw arm strength with some belief that he could add more with additional strength. Loose arm with a quick release that allows arm to play up a half grade. Very good tool. Grade – 50+/60
Fielding: Advanced for his age. Catch-and-throw skills play well right now. Can pop as low as 1.90 and is consistently sub-2.00. Quick feet and transfer, paired with above-average arm strength allows him to control running game. Very good blocker. Handles fastballs and breaking balls in the dirt with aplomb. Very intelligent. Wise beyond his years. Can call his own game and prides himself on working through at-bats intelligently. Receiving lags the rest of the defensive profile but should come with experience. Hasn’t handled premium stuff consistently and will have to adjust. Above-average overall profile long term. Grade – 40/50+
Speed: Decent runner now but not a significant part of his game. Shows average home-to-first. Likely to slow down with physical maturity. Probably a fringy runner early in his career and possibly below-average long term; depending on physical development. Grade – 50/40+
Summation: Quality prospect with broad skill set. Well-rounded profile is rare for high school backstops. Defensive profile is ahead of offensive development and will likely carry him throughout his career. Glove can be at least above-average in every respect. Already a quality catch-and-throw guy with good blocking ability. Strong arm. Intelligent kid with strong makeup. Needs to develop receiving ability. There is strength and lift in the swing that allows for average power projection. Hit tool has serious questions with multiple grade jumps necessary to reach average level. Even a modest hit tool could allow power to play at fringe-average level and make him a strong everyday player with his defensive profile. Potential to be a very good overall player with above-average potential for the position.
Relative Risk: High. Relatively advanced defensive profile helps mitigate some risk but questions about the bat can’t be ignored.
Draft Projection: First round talent with potential to go in the top half to a team that believes in the hitting ability. Has a big-league floor because of defensive projection but he will be a very high-risk pick if he goes off the board in the top ten picks.