Pirates Prospect Interview: Reece McGuire

Catcher Reese McGuire, the No. 14 pick overall in 2013 has had his ups and downs at Class A West Virginia. He is batting .254 for the Power, with one home run and 26 RBI. He has been struggling, in his last 10 games he is batting .186. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with McGuire.

GVB -- Talk about your approach at the plate, you've been up and down this season.

RM -- Just trying to be consistent everyday, going up there, controlling what I can control and that's getting a good swing on the ball, picking a good pitch to hit early in the count. Other than that, (I'm) not going up there trying to get a hit, but just hitting the ball hard.

RM -- Struggling lately, talk about the adjustments you are making to get it going again?

RM -- Just being a catcher, seeing a lot of pitchers, and having a good feel for what's a ball and what's a strike. It can be a positive and a negative. Sometimes you might tap one at someone and wish you had put a better swing on something.

GVB -- You came to the minors right out of high school. You got a taste of it last year, what has it been like for you?

RM -- To me it was a great opportunity, coming fresh off the draft right out of high school to the GCL and just getting started was real exciting for me and family back home and friends back home were all pumped up, it was an awesome experience.

GVB -- What has been the biggest adjustment that you have had to make in pro ball?

RM -- I guess being away from home. I got a little dose of that playing for Team USA and traveling across the country as well as across the world to Seoul Korea being away from family and friends. Just kind of growing up by myself.

GVB -- It also different compared to the amount of games you played in high school right?

RM -- To me school was always first, my mom was a teacher so we always prided ourselves on that, but I can remember plenty of times being in the classroom and wishing I had six hours of baseball instead of six hours of school. So it's really fun to get out here and just play.

GVB -- Talk about your game, you are still a work in progress with your skills behind the dish. Is your defense your number one priority?

RM -- Yeah, catching is defense first and then offense is second, but to me I pride myself on both just as much. I like to work on defense just as much as offense. But it's a continuation of just getting better everyday and never settling.

GVB -- Catching his handling the pitching staff and calling the game, how is that mental aspect of the game coming along?

RM -- That's my favorite part of the game, the game inside the game. Being able to kind of control the outcome in a way. I've grown up calling my games since I was 10-years old, so I have a real good feel for it and I'm still learning. I came out here my first year and learned a ton of things, but I feel like I got a little bit of a jump start just because I've been calling them from a young age.

GVB -- What about your defense, blocking balls and controlling the running game, how is that coming along?

RM -- I'm real confident back there with everything that I do and I let my practice just go right into play and I don't think out there, I just go out and just trust my abilities. Blocking wise in high school at least no one is throwing mid 90's like here, so it's a little bit of an adjustment to be a little quicker back there, but I feel upbeat and ready to go.

GVB -- Talk about the offensive side of things, still a work in progress?

RM -- Any position if you're hitting you are going to play. A bonus for a catcher is if you can put up some numbers. It kind of the same approach I've always had, trust my abilities. I'm an aggressive hitter. The one thing I've worked on a lot is certain situations and excepting not getting a hit, but moving a runner, just doing the job.

GVB -- You are still very young, how would you describe yourself as a hitter?

RM -- The power is definitely going to develop and I'm not worried about home runs. I just like to go up there and have a quality at bat. If I go 0-for-4, but I'm spraying the ball with line drives at guys, that is a positive day for me and that's the way I look at it. I don't go up there searching for a hit because that's out of my control. I go up there and try and have a quality at bat and put a good swing on the ball.

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