Name: Deck McGuire
Acquired: 1st round (2010)
Opening Day age: 21
Height/weight: 6'6", 220 lbs
Best/worst tool: Changeup/fastball
When he was drafted in the 1st round in the 2010 draft, the Blue Jays had a good idea of what they were getting because McGuire is not far from a finished product. McGuire's biggest strength is likely his lack of weaknesses. He throws an average fastball that sits 89-92 mph with a bit of sink, but nothing spectacular. McGuire also throws three offspeed pitches. His changeup is best pitch, and comes in around 80 mph with a lot of tail. His two other breaking pitches are an above average, mid 80's slider, and an average, looping mid 70's curveball. McGuire throws all four with above average command, and has a sound, repeatable delivery. His biggest flaw is his lack of overpowering stuff, as when his command is off or his offspeed pitches don't have bite, he can be hit around.
2010 Stats: N/A
2011 Stats: 98.2 IP, 87 H, 32 ER, 9 HR, 37 BB, 94 K
0.77 GO/AO, 2.92 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 8.57 K/9
McGuire has met expectations in his first year of professional baseball. A highly polished college product, McGuire was sent to High-A Dunedin to succeed and he has done exactly that. His ERA is 6th in the FSL, and his 94 strikeouts rank 5th. McGuire was named a Mid-season All Star, and he has been the ace of a Dunedin pitching staff that has seen the likes of Wojciechowski, Hutchison, Jenkins, Molina, and Alvarez fill its ranks. His strong ERA is supported by strong peripheral stats, suggesting he is more than ready for a promotion to New Hampshire.
As mentioned previously, McGuire has shown he can handle High-A and appears destined for Double-A New Hampshire sooner rather than later. Regardless of whether that promotion occurs late this year or out of Spring in 2012, he should spend most of the 2012 season in Double-A with the potential for a September callup if he performs well in the minors. He should compete for a rotation spot to start the 2013 season, and could be a main-stay in Toronto before June. He's unlikely to mature any more physically, so McGuire just needs to focus on continuing to learn how to pitch, particularly when his stuff isn't there.
Perfect world projection: A dependable, inning eating #3 MLB starter. McGuire lacks the top of the rotation potential of other Blue Jays prospects.
Worst case scenario: A #5 MLB starter if he fails to develop the consistency in his pitches required to thrive in the majors.
Most likely outcome: A fringe #3/#4 MLB starter. McGuire has a lot of polish and has minimal risks, so he should approach his ceiling.