It's no secret that great catchers are just as rare today as they ever have been, and for that reason high upside prep backstops tend to be highly coveted when they pop up on the draft scene. Reese McGuire, Kentwood High School's star player, fits that bill and has had some of the most stable stock of any prep player this season. He's widely considered a top half of the first round selection and may go off the board in the first ten picks this year, what about him appeals so much to big league clubs?
Behind the plate, McGuire is difficult to ignore. His lithe, 6'1", 190 lb. frame is ideally suited for the catcher position and he has athleticism to burn. He's highly flexible and able to cover a wide area while receiving the baseball and shows the potential to become an excellent blocker. He will have to work to improve his pitch framing some, but that's not uncommon for young catchers and shouldn't be a big issue. He has a present above-average arm with potential to add strength to his projectable frame, and he bursts out of his stance excellently. McGuire has all the defensive tools you could ever want out of a backstop and projects as a highly impressive player on that side of the ball.
On offense, McGuire is not quite the talent he is defensively but still shows promise. He has a loose, smooth left handed swing with some length that generates a lot of leverage and loft. His bat speed isn't excellent but could improve as he tightens up his mechanics and adds upper body strength. He has above average power potential and can be an average hitter for average. His status as a lefthander is also attractive. Some are higher on McGuire's ability to hit for contact in the future but presently it's not a plus skill for him.
College Commitment: University of San Diego
Major League Floor
McGuire's defense should carry him to the bigs, and he does project to have some major league quality power. His floor at the major league level is that of a second division regular who doesn't impact the game significantly on offense.
Major League Ceiling
If his offense develops like it has the potential to, McGuire could turn into a Matt Wieters-like player, minus the switch-hitting.
Projected Draft Round
McGuire should go between picks 10 and 15 or so.
Will He Sign?
Yes. The money will be too good to pass up.
Reese McGuire Prospect Video, Kentwood HS @Reese_McGuire21 (via Steve Fiorindo)
Reese McGuire Prospect Video, C, Kentwood High School (WA) (via MLBDirt)