McGuire has tossed 70.1 innings in 12 starts and one relief appearance this season. He touts a 5-3 record to go along with a 3.07 ERA and 70:29 strikeout to walk ratio. McGuire said his success this season has come with improvements made in accurately locating his fastball.
"I've just been working a lot on my fastball command," he said. "That's really gotten better as the season went along. I think early in the year, I'd tend to miss up a lot and pay for some of those mistakes. Since then, just really been working on keeping the ball down, and it's been working out pretty well."
Aside from his low-90s fastball, McGuire features three other pitches. His curveball, which he names his show-me pitch, lives in the mid-70s. His out pitch is the slider, clocked in the mid-80s, and he also has a low-80s changeup. Dunedin Manager Clayton McCullough touched on each of McGuire's pitches and shared his thoughts on why the 21-year-old has been so effective this year.
"He's had some success here because he has the ability to throw multiple pitches over the plate," McCullough said. "He's got a very good slider, his curveball at times is a good weapon for him and his changeup has gotten better, so even when his fastball command isn't where he wants it that day, he's got some other pitches he can go to to help him survive games.
Important to the game of baseball, especially for young pitchers, is consistency. McGuire has excelled in the first half of 2011, so keeping that success going into the latter portion of the season will be crucial. McGuire is looking to focus on the time in between starts to maintain his consistency after the All-Star break.
"I've just tried to stay in the same routine; not have any days where I feel like I need to throw more or anything like that," McGuire said. "Just sometimes you don't feel great in between starts and you just gotta kind of battle through it and really maintain your body and how much use you're getting out of your arm every day.
"I've never been through the whole full season before so right now I'm just trying to manage that and manage how many pitches I throw in pens and sides between starts; trying to keep that to a minimum so I can stay healthy every fifth day."
Also discussing consistency, Coach McCullough thinks McGuire needs to continue to grow as a pitcher.
"I think the big thing is Deck continuing to understand the starter's routine and continue to feel comfortable with that and making progress in between his outings to help with that consistency when you take the mound every fifth day," McCullough said, also alluding to the importance of fastball command.
Looking ahead to his future in professional baseball, McGuire wants improve his efficiency on the mound in order to climb the minor league ladder up to the majors.
"I still just want to keep improving on fastball command and definitely being more efficient with my pitches," he said. "There's been some times this year where even if I've had good or bad stuff, it hadn't really mattered.
"I just hadn't been very efficient, maybe walked a couple guys or gotten deep into a lot of counts and hadn't been able to go as deep into games as I would've liked, so from here on out, I'm just trying to keep pounding the zone, staying down, trying to force contact early so I can go deeper into games."