Prospect Countdown #66 : Stephen McGee

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #66 : Catcher, Stephen McGee (photo : Jerry Espinoza)

Stephen McGee, Catcher

HT : 6'3
WT : 215
DOB : February 7, 1991 (24), in Fort Myers, Florida
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)
Acquired : Drafted in 9th Round of 2013 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked


The Los Angeles Angels have plenty of hidden gems in their system, and Stephen McGee falls into that category with ease. McGee had a break out season in 2015, and should begin to shine at the upper levels of the minors to prove he's a future Major League talent. If you haven't taken notice yet, it's time to look at Stephen McGee as a future piece to the Angels success.


SCOUTING REPORT:

There may not be a smarter player on or off the field than McGee. He studies the game like no other, and was given the natural blessing of a well educated mind to help him study. It goes underrated how important things like this can be to a player's success.

McGee is a defensive first catcher, using his strong arm and big frame to as strengths. Though the numbers may not show it, McGee has a strong and accurate arm, allowing him to gun down runners with ease. If he learns a slightly quicker release and pop, he could become the best defensive catchers the Angels possess.

McGee has an uncanny knack for controlling his pitching staff. He has a solid ability to call a game, as well as bring strikes in with his "presentation" skills - or framing for simpler terms.

"A lot of my success has been because of Stephen," said a teammate of McGee. "I feel comfortable with him behind the plate, he's very smart and he knows how to call a good game."

At the plate, McGee has an opposite field approach, and puts a good swing on the ball. McGee has a keen knowledge of the strike zone, which comes standard for most catchers, but is better than the average catcher at knowing when and when not to chase.

McGee has a good base, and drives with his lower half to begin his swing. As he strikes the ball, power comes natural. He has a good ability of extending his arms to bring added power and put extra "oomph" behind his swing and he swings through the baseball.

Comparisons are never fair because each player is his own player, but when a guy has a nearly identical swing, frame, approach and defensive aspect of the game, you can't help but see the comparison. Stephen McGee easily reminds you of Chris Iannetta in a nine-inning game, all the way to being one of the smartest men in baseball.

VIDEO : ieProSports

Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

McGee was a four-letter winner at Port St. Lucie High School, and earned multiple honors as a prep player. As a junior, McGee earned Second-Team All-State honors, and was named a First-Team state selection his senior season. McGee also earned All-County honors each of his four prep seasons, and was named an All-Conference selection his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, all while being an Honor Roll Student through high school.

McGee was limited to 29 games between his freshman and sophomore years at Tallahessee. As a freshman, McGee reached base 10 times in 18 plate appearances (.556 OBP), collecting four hits (.333 BA), with all four hits coming as doubles (.667). McGee had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder in the middle of his sophomore season, holding him to just nine at bats, where he collected one hit - a double.

McGee broke out his junior season, which was helped by 576 innings caught, starting all 67 games behind the plate. McGee finished the year with a .230/.428/.269 slash, with nine doubles, 35 runs scored and 41 runs batted in. McGee was a constant threat at the plate, drawing 61 walks, fifth most in the nation, and 16 hit by pitch, which went for fourth most in a single-season at FSU. McGee walked 32 times in ACC play, which ranked fourth in the conference. McGe walked in 41 of the 67 games he played in, including 15 multi-walk games, which included a four-walk game against Virginia.

In his final collegiate season, McGee finished the year batting .286 with nine home runs, 16 doubles, 52 RBI and 50 runs scored. McGee's nine home runs ranked eighth in the conference. McGee reached base in 22-game straight games at a point during the season and once again started in every game. McGee once again shined a keen eye, walking 55 times, which led FSU and was fifth in the nation, third in the ACC. McGee was named a Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist (best college catcher) his senior season, and was named a Second-Team All-ACC selection.

As a professional, McGee didn't get off to a grand start, picking up just two hits in his first 41 plate appearances. However, he ended the season on a high note, finishing with an eight-game hit-streak where he went 11-for-27 with four walks, a double, and a home run with rookie Orem. McGee also threw out 44% of runners over the year.

McGee's sophomore year as a professional saw some high notes, but overall didn't look great from a statistical stand point. McGee finished the year in Low-A with a .217/.337/.281 slash with 12 doubles and two home runs. In a 52-game stretch from early May to mid July, McGee reached base in 48 games, helping him to a .400 on-base percentage.

McGee had an All-Star season, literally this past year. In High-A, McGee hit .299 with a .783 OPS in the first-half, earning him an All-Star selection for the Cal League. He finished the year playing at three different affiliates, and playing in the illustrious Arizona Fall League, hitting a combined .270/.364/.369 with 14 doubles and two home runs.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

McGee thrived in High-A this past season, and his bat played well at the upper levels in small samples. His defense and in-game mentality matches up well with the pitching staffs at the upper levels, which is where he should land in 2016. He should begin the year in Double-A and possibly earn a callup to Triple-A by season's end.

It's starting to become clearer and clearer that McGee could fall into a backup catching role at the higher levels of the minors. As he pieces everything together and the bat develops, he could turn into a future Major Leaguer. It may take a few more seasons, but McGee is right about to show the Angels that their investment in drafting him was no mistake.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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