As part of yesterday’s last-minute deal involving Francisco Liriano and Drew Hutchison, the Blue Jays also received two prospects in C Reese McGuire and OF Harold Ramirez.
McGuire was the 14th-overall pick in the 2013 draft because he had a favorable profile as a glove-first catcher with a plus arm and a chance to grow into viable offense. He hasn’t. McGuire’s body has matured but his bat speed is below average and his swing is completely devoid of any power-creating loft. He tracks okay and has some bat control, but I don’t think he’s going to hit enough to play everyday and he profiles as more of a back-up catcher or low-end starter than as an average everyday player.
Ramirez is similarly flawed, in that he has well below-average game power despite a thick, stocky frame and likely left-field-only defensive profile. He reported to camp out of shape in 2015 and his body’s rapid maturation has begun to slow him down and make him less viable in center. He has average bat speed that plays down because of the length in the back of his swing, and he lives off of excellent bat control and hand-eye coordination.
Even if you think Ramirez is a future plus hitter (I don’t but acknowledge it’s a possibility, Ramirez is really unique and a tough eval as a result), there won’t be more than 40 game power here unless he drastically alters his approach — and that offensive profile doesn’t play in left field without good defense, something I’m increasingly skeptical Ramirez will be able to provide. He’s only 21 and is hitting at Double-A, but the tool package here is not all that dissimilar to that of the recently traded Billy McKinney, who received the same Future Value grade.
Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.
Interesting. This seems to the harshest take on these 2 prospects anywhere on the interwebs.