Hudson Valley (Rays) 2
Vermont (Athletics) 0
Hunter Harvey, RHP, Aberdeen
SEE ALSO: NY Penn League Top 20 Chat
To qualify for a Minor League Top 20 Prospects list, a position player must have one plate appearance per team game, a starting pitcher must have one-third of an inning per team game and a reliever must have 20 relief appearances.
The Hudson Valley Renegades got twice the value out of 2017 first-round pick Brendan McKay as McKay served as both a pitcher and a first baseman/designated hitter. McKay was more effective on the mound than at the plate, but the two-way star, second baseman Vidal Brujan and shortstop Taylor Walls helped lead Hudson Valley to its first title since 2012. Hudson Valley had lost in the finals last year.
McKay was one of the few first-round picks who saw enough playing time in the league to qualify for the Top 20 Prospects list. There were a large number of impressive pitchers who failed to throw enough innings to qualify including righthander Will Crowe, Tanner Houck, Jonathan Loasiga and J.B. Bukauskas and lefthanders Seth Romero, David Peterson and Jay Groome.
The Rays were willing to let the most decorated amateur in Baseball America history pitch and hit, so they gave their first-round pick an unusual schedule. The former Louisville star pitched on Sunday, served as a DH on Monday and played first base on Tuesday. He then took Wednesday off for his pitching side session, spent another day as a DH on Thursday, played first on Friday and Saturday and pitched on Sunday.
Pitching once a week, McKay's fastball was as firm as it was at his best at Louisville. He pitched at 92-95 mph, pounding the zone and mixing in an effective cutter, slider and changeup. He has a chance to have four average or better pitches and he has advanced feel for pitching.
At the plate, McKay was helpless against lefthanders (.107/.265/.107) but generally put together professional at-bats, showing a simple, effortless swing that generated plus power. His home runs were often no-doubters, including one off of a Jorge Guzman fastball. He was smooth around first base, even though because of his two-way status, he didn't get as much time to work defensively as the normal first baseman.