TAYLOR GUSHUE
CATCHER
Born: December 19, 1993
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 215
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Drafted: 4th Round, 131st Overall, 2014
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of Florida
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Gushue has the potential to be a solid all-around catcher.  He has an average arm and quick release, although he threw out only 20% of base stealers in 2014.  With Mike Zunino at Florida, Gushue didn’t get a chance to catch until his sophomore season.  He has a compact swing from both sides and scouts think he has a chance to increase his power.  Baseball America characterizes him as a below-average hitter with average raw power.  Gushue graduated early from high school and went straight to Florida, so he was never eligible for the draft as a prep player.  He’s eligible for the first time now and is young for a college draftee.  He improved steadily at the plate during his three years at Florida, with his first really good year coming in his junior year.  He was just the equivalent age of a sophomore, so the college stats may not totally reflect his ability.  Baseball America rated Gushue the 109th best prospect in the draft.  There may be some consternation among fans due to the presence of Reese McGuire, but as with pitching prospects, there’s no such thing as too many catching prospects.  Gushue signed shortly after the draft for the slot amount.

2014
A-:  241/336/402, 199 AB, 13 2B 2 3B, 5 HR, 27 BB, 37 K, 0-1 SB

Gushue got off to a fast start, batting 333/484/729 in June and hitting four of his five HRs in his first five games.  He slumped after that, posting an OPS of just .662 in July and .452 in August.  That’s not an unusual pattern; hitters will often get off to fast starts in the NYPL before the more advanced pitchers drafted out of college start to pitch many innings.  Gushue had trouble with LHPs, posting a .625 OPS against them, as opposed to .769 against RHPs.  He at least controlled the strike zone well.  He threw out 23% of base stealers.  Gushue played sporadically in August, appearing in only 16 games.  I’m not sure exactly why.

The Pirates will have a crunch for playing time behind the plate in 2015.  Reese McGuire will probably be moving up to Bradenton, while Kevin Krause had a better debut than Gushue.  In addition, the Pirates have said they’ll try Connor Joe behind the plate.  McGuire figures to be the highest priority, so Gushue may head to West Virginia, but the Pirates may find some other way to divide up the time.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com

NCAA
BA
OBP
SLG
AB
2B
3B
HR
BB
K
SB
CS
2014 .320 .389 .473 222 16 0 6 25 37 1 1
2013 .269 .349 .417 216 13 2 5 22 41 3 3
2012 .206 .329 .383 141 8 1 5 23 33 1 3
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $388,800
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2020
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2014: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th round, 131st overall pick; signed on June 12.