When the Toronto Blue Jays drafted pitcher Deck McGuire in the 1st round of the 2010 amateur baseball draft, expectations were high in hopes that McGuire would fast track to the major leagues. McGuire pitched at the Georgia Tech where he impressed Blue Jays scouts enough to take him 11th overall.
Two years into McGuire’s professional career he has not lived up to the hype, which now sees him searching for answers as he dives into a make or break 2013 season.
McGuire and his progress took a step back last season as a member of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, where he posted a 5-15 season with a bloated era of 5.88, surrendering 162 hits in 144 innings pitched. Not quite the statistics you would expect from a 23-year-old former first rounder who signed a $2 million signing bonus.
To put his disappointing season into perspective, McGuire started 28 games last season for the Fisher Cats; five of those starts he surrendered six or more earned runs, and in six other starts he surrendered four or more runs. If McGuire can retain a positive from his season to build on, he can look at his Arizona Fall League statistics–albeit a small sample size–where he posted a 3.95 era in 13 innings pitched as a member of the Salt River Rafters.
McGuire has slipped off the Blue Jays depth chart and will need to re-establish himself this season or he may soon find himself pitching for another organization. The likes of Chad Jenkins, John Stilson, Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman have all leap-frogged McGuire on the big clubs call up list.
McGuire was voted by Baseball America as having the best slider in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system in both 2010 and 2011.
Perhaps it’s time McGuire resorts back to the slider before he slides right off the Blue Jays depth chart.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.