Toronto Adds To Pitching Corps With McGuire

Blue Jays Select Georgia Tech Hurler At No. 11





TORONTO The Blue Jays feel that Georgia Tech's Deck McGuire adds another strong, right arm to a group of good young pitchers that already is making a presence at the top.

McGuire, the 11th player taken overall, is the first draft pick for first-year general manager Alex Anthopoulos and new scouting director Andrew Tinnish.

"He's a big. physical righthanded starter," Tinnish said. "He's had a lot of experience in a big conference, pitches in the ACC for Georgia Tech. So he's been pretty battle-tested. The thing that stands out to me is . . . he's got size, he's got a good delivery and arm action, he's got good stuff."

William Deck McGuire, who turns 21 on June 23, was 9-4, 2.96, in 16 starts this season with Georgia Tech. He had 118 strikeouts and 33 walks in 113 innings. Opponents were hitting .226 against him.

Tinnish feels that the Richmond native projects to become a little heavier and stronger than his current 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame and will eventually develop into a middle of the rotation starter. He has already shown that he can compete even when he doesn't have his best stuff, Tinnish said.

"His slider is probably his best pitch, anywhere from 83 to 87 (mph)," Tinnish said. "It's a swing-and-miss type pitch. But it's not just the slider, he's got a good fastball, he's got a good changeup and he complements it with a curveball as well that he can throw for strikes."

The Blue Jays have increased their scouting staff Anthopoulos, allowing them several different members of the organization to see most of McGuire's starts this year.

"We've had 12 different looks at this guy," Tinnish said after some quick mental calculations. "Deck is an ultra-competitor. Just watching him at the park and how he interacts with his teammates, he's a real easy-going and fun guy and he gets along really well with his teammates. But when the bell rings, he's a competitor on the mound, he's a bulldog. We think he's a durable guy who is going to be able to log a lot of quality innings for us down the road."

The Blue Jays said he was on their short list of candidates for their first pick all season after he attracted attention as a sophomore. In 2009, McGuire became Georgia Tech's first ACC pitcher of the year after going 11-2, 3.50, with 118 strikeouts and 41 walks in 100 innings.

The consistency of the team's reports on him is what stood out the most, Tinnish said.
 
"He's been pretty steady with respect to the velocity of his fastball, the command and the movement of his fastball as the year has gone on," Tinnish said. "We have very consistent grades on his fastball velocity, his fastball command and movement and the quality of his slider."

Having a bigger staff helps in making a decision, Tinnish added.

"Just having that extra information is almost a little more peace of mind when you need to make a decision like this," he said. "It was a consensus, everybody had strong feelings for this player. There was comfort level across the board from for the entire group."