BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Brendan McKay

LHP | RaysTB
Durham Bulls Durham Bulls
Brendan McKay
Name: Brendan Joel McKay
Born: Dec 18, 1995 in Darlington, PA
High School: Blackhawk HS, Beaver Falls, Pa.
College: Louisville
High School: Louisville
Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 212 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
Drafted in the 1st round (4th overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017 (signed for $7,005,000)
McKay's amateur career goes down as one of the most decorated in the last 35 years. At Black Hawk High outside of Pittsburgh, McKay tossed 72.1 consecutive scoreless innings over his final two seasons, the second-longest streak in recorded U.S. high school history. A 34th-round pick of the Padres in 2014, he headed to Louisville and has been a two-time first-team All-American as the nation's top two-way player and the 2015 Freshman of the Year. This June he will likely become Baseball America's third three-time first-team All-American joining Greg Swindell and Robin Ventura. He dominated for two seasons on the mound and took his offensive game to a new level in 2017, including a four-homer game at Eastern Kentucky. In mid-May, McKay ranked in the top 10 nationally in OBP and slugging, and he was in the discussion for being the best pure hitter in the draft class. Scouts remain mixed on his overall power potential, but McKay is getting to his power more this season, and scouts believe his defense, baserunning and overall feel as a first baseman would improve if he gave up pitching. His best-case scenario as a position player is a career along the lines of that of Adrian Gonzalez, though McKay needs polish defensively to merit that overall comparison. His even-keeled demeanor and temperament means the game never speeds up on him and particularly comes into play on the mound. He excels at locating his 89-93 mph fastball to his glove side, pitching inside to righthanded hitters with aplomb and pitching on the black of the plate with angle consistently. His advanced fastball command--his best attribute as a pitcher--earns some comparisons to Cliff Lee, though he's thicker-bodied along the lines of Swindell. McKay's curveball, like his fastball, earns above-average grades. He commands it, lands it and buries it for strikeouts, and scouts believe both pitches could improve to true plusses if McKay gave up hitting and focused on pitching, particularly in terms of a consistent starter's routine. His changeup is a third pitch that he uses rarely and will have to improve as a pro. He could be a middle-of-the-order hitter or No. 3 starter, the latter in short order. His baseball athleticism was evident in his quick pickup of a cut fastball in late April, which helped him add a fourth pitch to his repertoire. McKay is a true top 10 pick either way, a testament to his baseball athleticism and IQ and overall feel for the game.
Career Statistics
  • Career Statistics
  • 2023 Game Logs
  • 2023 Splits
  • Spring Training
of Free Stories Remaining