Jays Journal contributors will be authoring Toronto Blue Jays report cards based on how each player performed in 2020. In this edition, we take a look at Reese McGuire
Back in Spring Training, Reese McGuire was arrested for exposure of sexual organs in February as he was arrested in a mall parking lot. He ended up pleading no contest which resulted in him getting fined $500.
This was set up to be an embarrassment for the organization and especially for himself as well as a potential distraction in the clubhouse. While we don’t know what kind of impact this made in the clubhouse, McGuire caught a bit of a break with something much worse going on, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some thought that the Jays would look to move on from McGuire, similar to what they did with Roberto Osuna when he was arrested for domestic assault back in 2018, but Ross Atkins shut those speculations down.
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After successful small stints in 2018 and 2019, McGuire was looking to carry that success over a whole season although he struggled mightily this year with a .073/.073/.146 slash line with just three hits.
On a positive note, he caught 50% of would be base stealers (four for eight) and only allowed two passed balls in 111 innings.
To simply put it, McGuire really struggled this year. He didn’t hit a single off-speed pitch and his expected batting average (XBA) against fastballs was only three points higher than his .100 average off that pitch.
As he batted .073 this season, his XBA was higher at .117 which is still bad nonetheless. His XBA off breaking balls was also higher at a .122 clip than his real batting average of .063. The breaking ball was the pitch he hit a home run on which was off Pete Fairbanks of the Tampa Bay Rays.
McGuire had a terrible season. Perhaps the legal incident played a bit into it as it can be tough having a legal case hovering over you while being a professional athlete. It’s important to note that the case wasn’t settled until halfway into the season which could have made it hard on McGuire.
With Danny Jansen and an emerging young catcher in Alejandro Kirk as well as catching prospects in the minor leagues, it can be questioned what McGuire’s role on this team is going forward.