Reese McGuire

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Reese Jackson McGuire

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Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Reese McGuire was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates and scout Greg Hopkins in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft. He soon signed for a bonus of nearly $2.4 million and made his pro debut with the GCL Pirates on July 4th, going 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs against the GCL Tigers. He was 7 for 11 to begin his pro career.

On August 1, 2016, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Francisco Liriano and Harold Ramirez for Drew Hutchison. He made his major league debut with the Blue Jays on September 6, 2018. He hit .290 in 14 games, as fellow rookie Danny Jansen also got a late-season look that year. In 2019, Jansen won the starting job, with veteran Luke Maile serving as his back-up and McGuire headed to AAA. However, he came back to Toronto late in the year and again played well, hitting .299 with 5 homers and 11 RBIs in 30 games. The Jays did not re-sign the light-hitting Maile after the season, as they clearly saw Jansen and McGuire as the catching tandem of the future.

Just as spring training was about to open in 2020, he made the news for appearing in the police blotter in Pinellas County, Florida after having been arrested for "the exposure of sexual organs". The incident had reportedly happened while he was sitting in a SUV in a parking lot of a strip mall in Dunedin, FL on February 7th. He was arrested and summoned to appear in court the following March 16th. This was long forgotten when the Blue Jays' season finally opened in late July, after the Coronavirus pandemic had upended everyone's life. He was indeed Jansen's back-up and started off well as he homered off Pete Fairbanks of the Tampa Bay Rays in his first game on July 25th. But his bat went into a torpor after that, and by September 4th, he was hitting just .073 with that early homer still representing his only RBI. With the Jays unexpectedly in the middle of the race for a postseason slot, he was optioned to the taxi squad and replaced by veteran Caleb Joseph, who had been held in reserve for emergencies until then. He then fell further down the depth chart when the Jays decided to give young Alejandro Kirk, who had yet to play above A-Ball, a look.

Kirk impressed enough that he was the one who served as Jansen's back-up in the postseason, then in spring training in 2021, he won the back-up job competing against Reese, who was designated for assignment just before the Opening Day. However, he cleared waivers and was sent to the Jays' alternate training site to start the year. On May 2nd, Kirk, who had been hitting very well, was placed on the injured list and the Jays called up Riley Adams, with no major league experience, from the taxi squad. This was just a band-aid solution to give the front office time to figure out how to get McGuire to return to the 40-man roster, which was done on May 5th, when he was activated and started a game behind the plate against the Oakland Athletics. He showed a lot more lively bat than in his previous season, and it was a good thing as it was soon Jansen's turn to go down with an injury, leaving McGuire and Adams to handle all of the catching with Kirk still on the sidelines. On June 20th, he had a three-double game in a 7-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles. As a result of the injuries to his rivals, it was Reese who ended up playing the most games at catcher for the Jays that season, with 61 starts in 78 games. He hit .253 with 1 homer and 10 RBIs.

In 2022, it looked as though the Jays would once again use three catchers with Jansen and Kirk sharing time with McGuire, but only a few days before opening day, on April 3rd, the plans changed as they traded Reese to the Chicago White Sox in return for another backstop who was a former first-rounder, Zack Collins.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Chris Bumbaca: "Blue Jays' Reese McGuire arrested in Florida for exposing himself in car", USA Today, February 12, 2020. [1]

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