Reese McGuire, your new life begins.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. PDT Thursday, the nation’s top catching prospect was selected 14th overall in the MLB first-year draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
His draft slot calls for a $2.5 million signing bonus.
He is also the area’s second-highest draft pick behind Capital High School’s Travis Lee, who went No. 2 to Minnesota in 1996.
“We really like the receive (skills), the block, the throw. And he’s called his own game forever,” Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington told Pittsburgh-area reporters after McGuire was selected. “That’s very unique in this industry.”
The only other in-state product selected in the first two rounds Thursday was Gonzaga left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales, who went 19th to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Pirates had been on the 6-foot-1, 195-pound McGuire – USA Baseball’s reigning player of the year – all season. Greg Hopkins, the organization’s Northwest scout based out of Beaverton, Ore., has known the catcher for nearly three years.
McGuire felt it, too. And in the days leading up to the draft, most observers felt Pittsburgh would be his landing spot.
But with their first pick at No. 9 – one they received as a compensation pick for not signing Stanford pitcher Mark Appel the year before – the Pirates selected Austin Meadows, a high school center-fielder from Georgia who was projected much of the season as a top-five pick because of his impact bat.
Following the Pirates were Toronto (No. 10), the New York Mets (No. 11), Seattle (No. 12) and San Diego (No. 13) – all of whom went elsewhere with their selections.
So up came the Pirates again at No. 14. This time, McGuire was fairly confident that is when he would go. And when his name was announced over the MLB Network, a room of 20 family members and close friends erupted with cheers.
McGuire jumped off the couch and immediately hugged his mother, Robin, and his father, Scott.
“Just immediate emotion, excitement and happiness,” McGuire said, “that this all paid off.”
McGuire said Thursday night he isn’t sure when he will fly out to Pittsburgh for a formal introduction with the organization and area media. He will likely start in Single-A Jamestown (N.Y.) at the end of June, then spend the late summer in instructional leagues.