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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Reese McGuire

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MLB: AUG 30 Orioles at Blue Jays Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Reese McGuire is a 26-year-old left-handed hitting catcher.

He was a first-round pick by the Pirates in 2013, number 14 overall. Number one that year was Mark Appel. Before the 2016 season, he was #95 on Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list.

The Blue Jays picked him up in trade and Francisco Liriano and Harold Ramirez for Drew Hutchison.

Francisco made 26 starts for us before being traded to the Astros for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez. Without the Pirates trade, we wouldn’t have Hernandez. Ramirez didn’t make it to the majors with the Jays, left as a free agent, signed with the Marlins, and did play 119 games for them in 2019 and 3 last year. Cleveland picked him up off waivers last month.

McGuire went on our 2017 top 40 prospect list at #13. From there, he went to #15, #25, and then up to #12 in 2020.

He got a September callup in 2018, played in 14 games, and hit far better than we expected, .290/.333/.581 with 2 home runs in 33 PA.

In 2019, Reese got a call up at the end of July, as the team got tired of watching Luke Maile fail at the plate. Reese got into 30 games and again hit better than we expected, with a .299/.346/.526 with 5 home runs in 105 PA.

2020 didn’t go as well. Reese was arrested during spring training for....well, you know. And, when the season finally started, he didn’t hit at all, .073/.073/.146, and his defense didn’t look the way as sharp we had seen in the past (though he did throw out 4 of 8 base stealers. He was replaced with Caleb Joseph and, who was replaced by Alejandro Kirk.

2020 was such a mess, I’m very willing to forget the 41 at-bats. And, for that matter, I’d gladly forget about the arrest too, but then I’m not sure if the front office feels the same way.

This year he has to win back his job from Kirk. Reese is out of options, so it is: make the team or waivers. That’s the big question:

Poll

Will McGuire be on the Blue Jays roster April 1st?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Yes
    (98 votes)
  • 71%
    No
    (240 votes)
338 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who gets the most MLB at bats in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Kirk
    (296 votes)
  • 6%
    McGuire
    (20 votes)
316 votes total Vote Now

I’ve said before that McGuire’s ceiling and floor are pretty close together. With his glove, he should have a career as a backup catcher. If his career lasts long enough, any backup catcher will come across a manager he takes a liking to him and gives him a starting job at some point, for some period of time.

ZiPS projects a .222/.276/.370 but in 102 games. I’m firmly on the under on games. I don’t think anyone will give a player 102 games if he has a .640 OPS if there are any other choices.

PECOTA has a much more achievable 51 games, with a .225/.293/.361 line.

Poll

If the over/under on McGuire’s 2021 MLB games is 50 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Over
    (31 votes)
  • 87%
    Under
    (210 votes)
241 votes total Vote Now