Deck McGuire May Have To Wait For Major League Debut
When the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Deck McGuire 11th overall in the 2010 draft, the Georgia Tech ace was suddenly the future of the organization. The very first draft pick under the reign of Alex Anthopoulos as General Manager, McGuire was heralded as a fixture of the starting rotation for years to come.
The college junior would settle and rise through the farm-system quickly, with little development needed and a spot in the big-leagues his within a couple of years. Four years later and 25 year-old Deck is still slogging it out in the minor-leagues, having only just reached Triple-A.
Despite being drafted in 2010, William ‘Deck’ McGuire started his Blue Jays career a summer later. Signing just minutes before the deadline, McGuire had already missed half of the Single-A short season with the Lansing Lugnuts and started his pro career with the Single-A advanced Dunedin Blue Jays. He could not have got off to a better start.
In 19 games (18 starts), McGuire went 7-4 with a 2.75 ERA, while striking out 102 in 104.2 innings. The stellar numbers were enough to earn him a promotion to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the place he only escaped this season. In 4 games (3 starts) with his new club, the then 21 year-old went 2-1 for a 4.35 ERA.
A “solid first season” was the general feeling, but in hindsight, an alarming lack of control was covered over by the pretty numbers, a weakness still present in his game today.
2012 was the year it all started to nosedive for McGuire.
In his first full season in New Hampshire, the right-hander struggled with almost every element of his game that had had the Blue Jays so excited by his arrival to start with. The dismal season saw 62 walks issued in just 28 starts and a 5.88 ERA to go along with a forgettable 5-15 record.
The excessive base-on-balls caused other derivatives, namely a failure to pitch past the fifth inning. This statistic improved only slightly a year later, but not enough to average six innings. That year he lowered his ERA to 4.86 and improved his record to a modest 9-10, yet still managed to fall further down on the depth charts.
That brings us to the present and until mid-June, it looked as though the 6’6 hurler had finally pieced it all together. His 2.86 ERA in 10 starts was enough to earn a call up to the highest minor-league level, and leave him just a phone call away from the show.
That phone call may be postponed for another season however, as McGuire has struggled thus far for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. In 7 starts he owns a 4.95 ERA and 3-3 record, and while some of his other numbers suggest he may be ready, an inflated earned run average and lack of control is likely to put off Anthopoulos from handing the keys over just yet.
The first three of those starts however were as good as one could’ve hoped for, going 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA while issuing just 3 walks. McGuire’s number one demon has crept back into his game since then, having issued 10 walks in just 20.1 innings.
A sign of the times is the fact that McGuire was the Blue Jays’ number three prospect the year after he was drafted, number 14 in 2013 and dropped out of the top 20 this season altogether.
At 25 years of age, Deck McGuire’s days as a prospect are numbered, but after a positive first half of 2014, the former first rounder is slowly, but surely working his way to the majors.