Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Young Pirates Protege Soaking Everything in | Catcher Reese McGuire Impresses Veterans with His Maturity and Talent

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Young Pirates Protege Soaking Everything in | Catcher Reese McGuire Impresses Veterans with His Maturity and Talent

Article excerpt

BRADENTON -- Reese McGuire is a newly-minted 21-year-old, having reached the milestone while the Pittsburgh Pirates were just starting their slate of Grapefruit League games.

Veteran catcher Chris Stewart, who has spent some time with McGuire as he works his way through his first big-league camp, still can't believe how young his protege is.

Aside from the talent that made him a first-round draft pick, McGuire may have the maturity to put it to use.

"Those young guys that are full of talent, they walk into the clubhouse and they definitely want you to know," Stewart said. "He comes in, goes about his business like everybody else. He's definitely got a mature attitude in that respect."

McGuire is accustomed to life at McKechnie Field. He spent most of last summer with the Bradenton Marauders, playing 98 games for the Pirates' high Single-A affiliate. And he's been to spring training before, but usually spent his days with the other minor- leaguers at Pirate City or helping out in the bullpen.

This spring has been completely different. His uniform has his name and number on the back and he changes into it every day inside the expansive home clubhouse at McKechnie Field. Stewart and starting catcher Francisco Cervelli dress a couple of locker stalls to McGuire's right. And he has already logged five plate appearances in three games this spring.

The Pirates open the regular season Sunday, April 3 at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. McGuire won't be there, as he's probably ticketed for the organization's Double-A affiliate in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

So rather than impressing the brass with his play, McGuire is soaking in all he can. "It's been fun the last couple of years getting to spring early, helping out in bullpens, and now this year, being able to suit up," he said. "Just trying to make the most of it -- open ears, open eyes to everything. …

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