The Tampa Bay Rays have selected first baseman Brendan McKay from Louisville with the fourth overall selection.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 12, 2017
Brendan McKay is another phenomenal two-way player in the 2017 draft. He won the John Olerud Award as college baseball’s best two-way player in each of his first two years at Louisville.
It’s still unknown if McKay is better suited to start his career as a hitter or on the mound. He has a fastball that sits in the 90-94 mph range, but it loses velocity in the middle innings, per David Adler of MLB.com.
The curveball for McKay is a plus pitch, and he has worked improving his changeup.
McKay handles the bat extremely well as he can hit a baseball to all fields.
He led the U.S. college national team with a .326 batting average and .434 on-base percentage last summer.
The Louisville product could develop into someone who hits .300 yearly with 20 or more home runs if he were to focus solely on hitting.
John Olerud is a comparison for McKay.
McKay was taken as a first baseman, which means the Rays value him for his skill with a bat as opposed to pitching.
It’s not a surprise that the Rays selected McKay to play first base as he can really make an impact in a lineup. McKay’s bat speed is tremendous and using all fields is something that will help in his development.
It’s still possible that McKay will get a chance to pitch as he was a two-way star for Louisville.
A determining factor him is which skill does he excel the best at. The risk is too high to have him play both positions, so focusing on one aspect will be crucial in the future.
- Chris is a New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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