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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Instructional League Highlights From Reese McGuire, Mitch Keller and More

On Friday, we posted highlights of Austin Meadows, Raul Siri and Adrian Valerio from Thursday’s Fall Instructional League game. We have some more video from the game courtesy of the FIL Fan page. Today’s highlights include 2014 second round draft pick Mitch Keller, last year’s first round pick Reese McGuire, pitcher Austin Coley and a second look at two interesting DSL players.

Mitch Keller received a $1,000,000 bonus to sign and could possibly end up being the best player the Pirates drafted this year. We had video from his pro debut, which also included Trey Supak, who was taken nine picks after Keller and received the same bonus. We also posted every pitch from his start on August 12th. Below is video of Keller warming up before his start, followed by a ground out to end the first inning, getting the batter out in front on an off-speed pitch

Ground out from Keller

Reese McGuire walked his first time up on Thursday, then followed it with this single shown below. In his first full season this year, McGuire hit .262/.307/.334 in 98 games with West Virginia. Those aren’t bad numbers considering his age(he turns 20 in March), but they were well off the .780 OPS he had in the GCL last year. His defense was above average and helped get him ranked as the fifth best prospect in the South Atlantic League by Baseball America.

Earlier this week, we posted videos from Tuesday’s action in the FIL, showing speedy outfielder Victor Fernandez for the first time. In that video, he hit a double to left field, going from home to sliding into second base safely, in seven seconds. Here is another video of the speed of Fernandez, causing a throwing error on an easy ground ball. To put it simply, he is fast.

Also in that Tuesday link was a first look at second baseman Luis Perez, who spent the 2014 season in the DSL. Here is a second look at him and a much better one.

Finally, we have video of Austin Coley warming up in the bullpen. The 2014 eighth round draft pick had a rough first season in pro ball. He missed some time with a shoulder strain, then finished with a 5.23 ERA and .323 BAA in eight starts. In 20.2 innings, Coley had a 9:18 BB/SO ratio. He had some control issues his junior year, so he will probably spend the 2015 season in the West Virginia rotation working on fastball command.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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