Chris McGuiness

Born: April 11, 1988
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 210
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 13th Round, 408th Overall, 2000 (Red Sox)
How Acquired: Trade from Rangers (for Miles Mikolas)
College: The Citadel
Agent: N/A


McGuiness wasn’t drafted out of high school, but was a 12th round selection of the Red Sox out of college.  He’s strictly a first baseman, as he isn’t athletic and has well below average speed.  He is, however, considered good defensively at first.  As a hitter he’s polished and has had consistently good to excellent strikeout and walk rates.  His power is still open to question, as it’s only emerged when he was an older player in low A and in a good HR park in AA.  The only time he’s made a Baseball America prospect list was during his brief stay with Cleveland, which had a weak farm system.  McGuiness’ platoon splits have been variable in the minors, with no overall pattern of hitting RHPs better than LHPs.

A-:  255/374/434, 196 AB, 17 2B, 6 HR, 36 BB, 40 K, 0-1 SB
A:  150/320/200, 20 AB, 1 2B, 3 BB, 5 K

McGuiness hit respectably in his short season debut, but didn’t dominate.

A (Bos):  298/416/504, 282 AB, 20 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 53 BB, 59 K, 2-5 SB
A+ (Tex):  250/381/450, 120 AB, 3 2B, 7 HR, 24 BB, 32 K, 1-2 SB

In low A, McGuiness had a strong three months.  It has to be remembered, though, that he was a little overage for the league.  Pirates’ prospect Matt Curry, to take one example, dominated the same league to a much greater extent, but stalled out (so far) in AA.  At the trade deadline, Boston sent McGuiness to Texas in the deal for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  Texas sent McGuiness to high A, where he hit decently in the hitting-happy California League.  Overall, he had a .930 OPS against RHPs and .800 against LHPs.  After the season, Baseball America did not rank McGuiness as one of the top 30 prospects in a very strong Rangers system.

R:  200/429/800, 5 AB, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K
A+:  214/320/296, 196 AB, 10 2B, 2 HR, 30 BB, 51 K, 1-1 SB

McGuiness spent the season struggling with oblique, back and knee injuries.  When he was able to play, Texas sent him to their high A affiliate (now in the Carolina League), where he struggled.

AA:  268/366/474, 456 AB, 25 2B, 23 HR, 69 BB, 107 K, 0-1 SB

McGuiness bounced back with a good season in AA.  Some of his success probably depended on his home park at Frisco in the Texas League.  Frisco played as a strong HR park, although not a strong overall hitters park.  He hit 18 of his 23 HRs there.  His platoon split was minimal.  After the season, Cleveland selected McGuiness in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft when Texas did not add him to its 40-man roster.

AAA:  246/369/423, 362 AB, 29 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 68 BB, 86 K, 1-1 SB
MLB:  176/176/206, 34 AB, 1 2B, 13 K

Cleveland returned McGuiness to the Rangers at the end of spring training and the Rangers sent him to AAA.  He continued to show good plate discipline there, but his power dropped off to subpar levels for a player limited to firstbase.  He had a significant reverse platoon split.  McGuiness struggled in a brief callup in June.  The Rangers designated him for assignment in December after they signed Shin-Soo Choo, then traded him to the Pirates.

AAA:  264/358/412, 420 AB, 31 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 63 BB, 72 K, 0-3 SB

McGuiness spent the 2014 season in AAA and hit about the same as he had in 2013, showing outstanding plate discipline but not the power that teams want from first base.  He was amazingly consistent, with a monthly OPS between .727 and .828 every month.  He had only a mild platoon split, .719 against LHPs and .781 against RHPs.  The Pirates designated McGuiness for assignment on September 1 to clear roster space for John Holdzkom.  He cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA.

McGuiness isn’t eligible for minor league free agency for another year and also has an option left.  He could share 1B/DH duties with Stetson Allie in 2015.

Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
2015: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: $100,000
MiLB Debut: 2009
MLB Debut: 6/7/2013
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: 2020
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: December 6, 2012
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2013, 2014)
MLB Service Time: 0.013
June 9, 2009: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 12th round, 408th overall pick; signed on June 24.
July 31, 2010: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Roman Mendez, Michael Thomas and cash to the Texas Rangers for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
December 6, 2012: Selected by the Cleveland Indians in the Rule 5 draft.
March 27, 2013: Returned by the Cleveland Indians to the Texas Rangers.
June 6, 2013: Called up by the Texas Rangers.
December 27, 2013: Designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers.
December 30, 2013: Traded by the Texas Rangers to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Miles Mikolas.
September 1, 2014: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on September 7.