The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted catcher Taylor Gushue from the University of Florida in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB draft. Gushue is young for a college player, graduating early from high school in December 2011, and enrolling in Florida the following Spring. So despite being drafted out of college, he’s only 20 years old.
After Mike Zunino was drafted, Gushue moved behind the plate for Florida, and put up some good numbers at the plate. This year he hit for a .320/.389/.473 line with six homers in 222 at-bats. Baseball America had him rated 107th, and says he could be a below-average hitter with average raw power. He’s a switch hitter, and has a quick swing from both sides of the plate, although BA says he’s not quick enough to be an elite hitter.
Behind the plate, Gushue has the chance to remain a catcher. He’s got a good frame, is a good receiver, and has an average to above-average arm. He’s shown improvements with his defense, and looks like a solid all-around catcher.
The Pirates have Reese McGuire as their catcher of the future, and Gushue will probably trail him, likely playing in Jamestown this year and going to West Virginia in 2015.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
I’m a huge Florida baseball fan and have been watching Gushue for 3 years. He’s a good hitter with decent power and talk about a great attitude. Maybe the best attitude I’ve seen on a kid. I love this pick. Nice to see my favorite team draft my favorite player from my favorite college team.
Your comment may be a key to understanding the Pirates draft strategy. Perhaps they have placed an increased emphasis on “intangibles” such as a positive attitude.
The draft strategy thus far is simply hard to understand. Further complicating the outlook it really seems that some teams in our own division are having very promising drafts by comparison.
I like this pick for the same (and only) reason I like the 1st rounder: they are younger than the situation implies. Would Tucker be a top 10 pick with a year of seasoning? Could Gushoe be another Tony Sanchez? Im beginning to wonder if part of this draft strategy isn’t to get more domestic talent signed that can fill the Bristol roster. I don’t mind the overreaches on CoTuck and Joe if that means they intend to sign 12 of their top 12 picks. They do seem to be going for players who mimic players they’ve had developmental success with i.e. CojTuck=Jordy Mercer. Head scratching time. Good thing we have 6 years to see how this works out.
Curious to see how he compares Jin-De Jhang.