By Jason Shetler
MLBPipeline.com has released their rankings of the Top 10 catchers in the minors. The Pirates have two backstops on the list with Reese McGuire coming in at #4 and Elias Diaz at #6.
McGuire was a first round pick of the Pirates in the 2013 MLB Draft. The 20-year-old has gotten rave reviews for his defensive abilities ever since being drafted. Most publications believe that his defense alone is good enough for the big leagues right now. McGuire’s offense is currently a work in progress. He did however post a .791 OPS in the Arizona Fall League, so perhaps he could build off that success heading into 2016.
Diaz signed as an amateur free agent with the Pirates back in 2008. The Venezuelan native is also known for his strong defense behind the plate, as he’s thrown out runners at a 29% rate during his time in the minors. Diaz has really made strides offensively as well, posting a .759 OPS since 2013. His numbers were good enough to earn him a September call up to Pittsburgh last season. During this offseason’s Winter Meetings, the Texas Rangers reportedly wanted Diaz in a deal for Mitch Moreland, but the Pirates declined the offer.