USA Baseball has named catcher Reese McGuire from Kentwood High in Covington, Wash., its 2012 Dick Case player of the year. McGuire played on USA's 18-and-under team that defeated Canada to win gold medals at the IBAF 18U World Championship in Seoul, South Korea in September.
"Our entire national team roster from that summer are vetted and the performances are each in their own unique," 18U director Brant Ust said. "But we felt as an organization that Reese leading the 18U to gold like he did, not only statistically, but with his presence and and intangibles make him the pick for this award."
During his time with the USA Baseball 18U team this summer, McGuire hit .400/.522/.514 with four doubles and 11 RBIs over 35 at-bats. He led the team in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, hits, RBIs and walks. Not only that, but McGuire did so while shuffling between catcher, third base, first base, left field and designated hitter.
"In terms of on-the-field, baseball-wise, he was capable of playing multiple positions for us," 18U head coach Scott Brosius said. "He was very good defensively as a catcher, but can also play third base and can play the outfield. Being able to move like that and have that versatility was huge for us. And just beyond that, he really just epitomized the type of attitude and the type of player that we needed and wanted to have on the team—very tough, very hard working, didn't say a whole lot, just really went about his business and had that blue-collar type of mentality that we needed to have."
McGuire will be presented with the award at a school assembly on Feb. 5. Previous winners of the award include Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and righthander Stephen Strasburg, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak and Cubs outfield prospect Albert Almora.
"My dad and I looked at all the names of the winners in past years and there's a lot of big league names and what not," McGuire said. "So it's a huge honor, not only to be chosen from my team, but the whole USA organization. I'm just really thankful and blessed to have represented my country so well. That was our number one goal, to win gold, that's all we were there for. So this is exciting and I'm definitely proud and humbled by it."