Rays Select Top Of Draft Two Way Talent
The Tampa Bay Rays selected Brendan McKay out of Louisville with the fourth pick in the 2017 draft.
McKay, regarded by many as the overall number one pick, was a two way star in college. As a pitcher ye posted a 10-3 record with a 2.34 ERA including striking out 140 batters. He also hit .343 with 17 HRs, drove in 56 runs, and added 13 doubles.
“We were thrilled to select Brendan McKay as our fourth overall pick. This is a very rare talent, a player as a position player and as a pitcher warranted top of the draft consideration.” Rays Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations said. “At pick four, you never know how things are going to go ahead of you, but all we can say is that we our staff is thrilled to have selected him and hopefully have him in our organization.”
Although he was announced as a first baseman on MLB Network, Erik Neander confirmed that the organization was going to allow him to pursue his path as both a pitcher and a hitter.
“We actually, we spent a lot of time on this, and Brendan to this point, like I just mentioned, is someone that has qualified as a top of the draft talent on both sides. At this point, our plan is to continue to let him explore that. To let him put a cap on what he can and cannot do.”
“With respect to this summer, he obviously still playing, we are going to see how things play out, where he’s at, there’s a lot of the details of how that plays out that we have to take care of once we get him in here. For now, given that he’s proven the proficiency to do it at this point we want to give him the opportunity to continue.”
McKay is excited about the prospect of pursuing life as a hitter and pitcher.
“I think it can go a long way. If a guy can can figure out how to handle his arm and his body and stay healthy and what not, I think it can handle a whole new level to baseball. Having two guys in one that can do both and add a lot of potential to your team in many ways. The added benefit of being with the Rays, an organization willing to afford him the opportunity to do both, he said, “Absolutely, I love hitting and I love pitching. Just being on the field in general.”
Will Signing Him Be A Problem?
As for his signability, Rays Scouting Director Rob Metzler said, “We’re optimistic, Brendan’s going to continue his way through the College World Series, we’ll be rooting for them to hang the banner at the end, and after the we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to make him a Ray.”
The concern about his signability is based in part from a report that the Twins had made him an offer that his camp refused. According to McKay the Minnesota Twins did in fact make an offer.
“No, I’m not disappointed at all. It’s tough to be a number one pick. Obviously, the team at the top has the largest pool of money for that pick, they always want to save a certain amount of money to translate down into some later picks so, if you couldn’t get to a good number with the team and what not you move on and work out some deals with other teams and see how it works out.”
His follow up response bodes well for the Rays and his future with the organization.
“They had offered a number that we felt that we could get a better offer from another team or what not, and it ultimately came down to another team was able to give a better offer so we went with that and I’m happy things worked out. You get a good deal and a great organization to work with.”
A 34th round pick out of Black Hawk High School outside of Pittsburgh where he had the second longest scoreless streak in U.S. High School history (72.1-IP).