It was only a 30 games sample, but Reese McGuire left us with two thoughts. He is ready for a role on the major league squad and he could potentially give Danny Jansen a run for the starters role.
Reese McGuire had a good but unspectacular offensive season in Buffalo where he batted .247, with 12 doubles and 5 home runs. However, he is known more of a defensive catcher than offensive catcher which lends to the credit that he would be a good major league back-up catcher.
I was an advocate of McGuire making the club out of spring training, but, I don’t think they wanted to have two inexperienced catchers on the roster, so McGuire was sent to Buffalo. Unfortunately for Luke Maile he went down with an injury in late July and McGuire was promoted and made the best of the opportunity.
Offensively McGuire was very consistent, he never went more than two games without recording a hit three times and never went three games without a hit. He picked up at least three hits four times and his best game came on August 8 against the Yankees when he went 4 for 4 with a home run and a double.
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McGuire is able to put the bat on the ball quite frequently as he only struck out 17% of his plate appearances. Two parts of his offensive game I would like to see more of in the future is being able to drop down a sacrifice bunt and draw a few more walks. McGuire will likely be a sufficient #7 hitter, but could also hit in the two hole if he can improve those two aspects of the game.
I haven’t seen enough of McGuire at the major league level behind the plate, however, what I have seen I have been impressed. Albeit a small sample size, he threw out 5 of 19 base runners and allowed just one past ball. There were 13 wild pitches that got by him, and although those are on pitchers, he could help them out a little bit.
Outside of something crazy happening, the Blue Jays should be starting the year with Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire as their catchers and for the near future. This could be the best catching duo since the Ernie Whitt/Pat Borders or Ernie Whitt/Buck Martinez days. The tandem will give you a perfect lefty/righty batting duo.
The only reason I didn’t give McGuire a higher grade is purely it was just a 30 game preview. I have no doubt McGuire will be a solid big league catcher and excited to see what he can bring.