Reese McGuire is building one solid reputation.
Earlier this week the catcher was named USA Player of the Year. McGuire, 17, received the Dick Case Award for his performance on the 18-and-under team. They won the gold medal by beating Canada in September.
The Washington native hit .400 with 11 RBI in 35 at bats, leading the team in batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, walks and runs batted in. He'll graduate this year, and will be eighteen by the time of the MLB June draft.
As the draft gets closer, anticipation is building and he admits that the big day is crossing his mind a lot.
"For sure. My goal and my dream is to be in the majors," he said Wednesday. "I hope to have a good spring and be high on the draft board."
McGuire, whose committed to the University of San Diego, hit .388 with 34 RBI, 19 walks, and struck out just 10 times last year for Kentwood High School. As impressive as his bat has been, it's his ability behind the plate that has garnered the most praise.
"I think what separates me is my natural ability and my baseball IQ. I feel like I see a lot behind the plate, that others don't."
Most draft experts expect McGuire to go first round, and with the USA Showcase performance, he's certainly adding to his value. He should be part of a draft class that is predicted to be rich in high school catching.
Despite his strength at that position, his versatility is also of note. He's able to play the outfield, as well as first and third base. But there's no question where he belongs.
"[Catching] is my favorite. It really stuck with me. I feel a lot of natural ability when I'm behind the dish. I've played a lot of positions, but have grown to have a passion and love for catching. I hope that's where my future is."
His quieter nature has also been noted and while he's tried to be more of a leader-by- example' type, he knows that communication is key.
"I'm comfortable with the leadership role. I try to motivate the team by playing hard. My leadership really comes into play with the pitchers. That trust is important, so that when we get out there, everything just flows."
The showcases are always helpful to any high school player in getting noticed. Their function is in their name. But he's humble and smart enough to know what they aren't for.
"You don't want to be too vocal at showcases, because guys will think you're just trying to be the center of attention."
His strengths have gotten stronger, and as he approaches his senior year, he knows how far he's come. The mechanical aspect is, of course, only part of the equation.
"I'm maturing and evolving as a player, especially mentally. I'm a better teammate. And you have to have the makeup at every level. That can make or break a career. I've had to learn to just stay within. To not try and prove anything. My parents have stressed that. I just need to play my game, and by doing that I can bring my teammates up to that level."
For all the increased attention, and his ambitious, sharp focus, underneath it all, there's a simple truth that motivates him.
"I have a love and desire for the game. I have passion for it. You have to have a good work ethic and love doing this."
You can follow Reese McGuire on Twitter @Reese_McGuire21