Our coverage of the 2017 MLB Draft here at The Inscriber continues. The Draft is set to begin on Monday, June 12 on MLB Network. One of the big stories of this year’s Draft is the unusual number of two-way players on the board. No. 1 ranked Draft prospect, Hunter Greene, may be the most exciting, but Brendan McKay has made a great case of his own.
McKay, a Junior at Louisville, was originally drafted out of high school by the Padres in the 34th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He declined and instead honored his commitment to Louisville. It’s looking like the right choice, as he was awarded the John Olerud Award for being college baseball’s best two-way player in both his freshman and sophomore years.
McKay, 21, stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs in at 212 lbs. He bats and throws from the left side. Unlike Greene, teams are still unsure whether to take McKay as a pitcher or a first baseman. He has the talent to be considered as the No. 1 overall pick as both.
As a pitcher, McKay’s fastball ranges between 90 and 94 mph with exceptional command. His curveball is considered a plus pitch and challenges his fastball as his best offering. He also throws a changeup but hasn’t needed it much throughout his college career. If McKay ends up pitching full time, he could easily see improvement in all of his offerings.
Some consider McKay as the best college bat in the Draft. He has a mature approach at the plate which allows him to hit for high average. He works walks, doesn’t strike out often, and is hitting for more power than he ever has in his career. McKay has all the making for a great all-around hitter, which is why his role is still up in the air with just a few days before Draft day.
MLB.com has Brendan McKay ranked at No. 2 and the Twins have shown interest in drafting him first overall as a pitcher. However, I think he will fall to fourth overall. The Tampa Bay Rays have said that McKay is their top target and that they would groom him into a full-time first baseman. The Rays at No. 4 seem to be the outliers, as every team above them would likely take McKay as a pitcher.
The Rays at No. 4 seem to be the outliers, as every team above them would likely take McKay as a pitcher. Regardless, the 21-year-old shouldn’t be too far off from the Majors wherever he lands. He’s one of the “safer” picks in the Draft, and it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up.