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August 4, 2014

Monday Morning Ten Pack

August 4, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


The Monday Morning Ten Pack is brought to you by Sidsgraphs.com. SidsGraphs specializes in memorabilia and game-used items from baseball's top prospects! Visit Sidsgraphs.com today or visit their retail store in the south suburbs of Chicago.

* * *

Reese McGuire, C, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia)
Back in April, I wrote that McGuire was the prospect I was most excited to put eyes on as the season opened up. The 2013 first-rounder did not disappoint in a recent three-game look, showcasing the potential to be a top-tier defensive catcher at the highest level. The 19-year-old shows impressive athleticism behind the plate, starting low and displaying quick reactions to either side on balls in the dirt, patrolling the area around the dish like a seasoned veteran. His strong wrists allow him to receive the ball with very little lateral or vertical movement. The raw arm strength is a no-doubt weapon, with a short arm stroke and an efficient glove-to-hand transfer, but the footwork is the real key to his success. He gets from his catching to throwing position quickly, firing his feet in a manner that keeps him on line with the second base bag. On offense, McGuire has a short, line-drive stroke with good barrel awareness in all quadrants of the zone, showing a precocious ability to go with pitches to the opposite field. The bat stays in the zone for an extended period, which bodes well for his bat-to-ball ability as he climbs the ladder. His raw power is below average at present and will likely be a below-average in-game tool at the highest level, but there is enough feel for the barrel to forecast good gap-to-gap pop. This is the total package behind the plate, and while the bat might take some time to develop, McGuire’s glove will likely push him through the minors and move him into discussions as one of the top pure catching prospects in the game. —Ethan Purser

Wendell Rijo, 2B, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville)
A six-figure signee out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, Rijo is making an impression in his first trip through the Sally League. Through 88 games, the 18-year-old has slashed .262/.351/.430 with seven home runs and a very respectable 41:87 walk-to-strikeout ratio as the youngest qualified hitter in the league. Though the stroke itself is compact with plus or better bat speed through the zone and incredible wrist strength, Rijo looks to lift and separate at the plate, starting wide open and creating big momentum by utilizing a high leg kick and a stride that spans the entire length of the box. While the lower half will eventually need to be cleaned up, Rijo absolutely stings balls at present and possesses the raw ingredients for a solid-average hit tool with the ability to find the gaps with regularity. Perhaps the most promising trait the teenager displays in the box is his ability to track pitches all the way into the catcher’s glove, a skill that has resulted in a well above-average walk rate thus far. The defense at the keystone has been erratic, with questionable hands, unpredictable footwork, and a fringy arm, but the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Dominican displays impressive athleticism and range to both sides, a trait that should carry over as he climbs the ladder —barring weight gain of the negative variety, at least. Though he is raw in certain aspects of his game, Rijo is maturing into a legitimate prospect, and given plenty of time and further refinement he could blossom into a major-league regular at the keystone down the road. The bat will need to play to its potential, however, as he will be limited to second base. —Ethan Purser

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Luc... (08/04)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (08/05)

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