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Brendan McKay
Trending: ↓ 8%
P | B/T: L/L | 6' 2" 220LBS | Age: 24

Draft: 2017 | Rd: 1, #4, Tampa Bay Rays | Louisville
MLB Pipeline Rank
Poor Avg Great

Stats

W L ERA G GS SV IP SO WHIP
2019 2 4 5.14 13 11 0 49.0 56 1.41
1 Season 2 4 5.14 13 11 0 49.0 56 1.41
G W-L ERA IP SO WHIP
2019 13 2-4 5.14 49.0 56 1.41
1 Season 13 2-4 5.14 49.0 56 1.41

Standard MLB Pitching Statistics

SeasonTmLGBFWLERAGGSSVIPHRERHRBBSOWHIP
2019 TB AL 216 2 4 5.14 13 11 0 49.0 53 32 28 8 16 56 1.41
*: All Star Season, Rankings AL/NL: Top 5 10 15 20      Click for Chart.

Scouting Report

2020

McKay won the prestigious John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award in each of his three seasons at Louisville and was considered by many to be the best two-way Draft prospect since Dave Winfield (1973). He became the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 Draft and signed for $7,005,000 after garnering both the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards as a junior in 2017, and the Rays continued to develop him as a true two-way player early in his pro career. But after a series of lat injuries during McKay's first full season limited his progress on both sides of the ball, the Rays opted to emphasize the left-hander's development on the mound in 2019 while limiting him to DH duties. The result was a breakout campaign in which McKay thrived in the upper Minors en route to his big league debut in late June, and he ultimately pitched well enough to earn a spot on the Rays' postseason roster. Expected to be a key contributor once again in 2020, McKay instead battled a shoulder injury that ultimately required surgery in August, wiping out his entire season.

Though nothing McKay throws is particularly overpowering, he does have plus command as well as an innate feel for sequencing an arsenal of four average-or-better pitches. He confidently pitches to both sides of the plate with a 92-95 mph fastball and an upper-80s cutter and keeps hitters off-balance by working in an average, low-spin curveball in the low 80s that yields weak contact with its big, top-to-bottom shape. McKay's mid-80s changeup was his least-used pitch in his first big league campaign but figures to be a focal point of his development going forward. A quality athlete, McKay repeats his delivery well and has been a consistent strike-thrower at every stage of his career.

Despite the reduction in his two-way role, McKay still managed to accrue 145 Minor League at-bats (.629 OPS, 5 HR) and tallied a pair of hits including his first big league homer in 10 at-bats with the Rays. McKay's patient approach and left-handed power should continue to net him at-bats in a reserve role, though it's become clear that his future is on the mound, where he has the potential to develop into a dependable mid-rotation starter.


2019

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Cutter: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 60 | Overall: 60

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 30 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

7/5: McKay optioned to Triple-A

The recipient of the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award in each of his three seasons at Louisville, McKay was regarded by many as the best two-way Draft prospect since Dave Winfield in 1973. He took home both the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards as college baseball's top player as a junior in 2017, when he went 11-3 with a 2.56 ERA and a school-record 146 strikeouts in 16 starts while also hitting .341 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs. The Rays have continued to develop McKay as a two-way player in pro ball after selecting him No. 4 overall and signing him for $7,007,500, though so far he's had more success on the mound.

McKay operates with a 92-95 mph fastball and commands it exceptionally well against hitters on both sides of the plate. Both his curveball and cutter project to be above-average pitches, with the latter currently ahead of the former, and he's developed good feel for a changeup as a pro after using it sparingly in college. Everything he throws plays up because he has plus command and knows how to sequence his pitches. As a hitter, McKay demonstrates a patient, discerning approach, with a knack for getting on base, though his overall impact with the bat has been underwhelming as a pro.

McKay was limited in his first full season by a pair of oblique injuries, the second of which he sustained while swinging, highlighting the inherent risk of developing a two-way player. The Rays would like to reduce McKay's overall workload in 2019 and won't deploy him as a first baseman, although a return to the position later in McKay's career has not been ruled out. The club still is very interested in developing McKay's bat, however, and the plan is to have him DH around his pitching schedule as they continue to develop him as a two-way player.


2018

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Cutter: 55 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 30 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

Regarded as the best two-way Draft prospect since Dave Winfield in 1973, McKay won the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award in each of his three seasons at Louisville. He went 11-3 with a 2.56 ERA and a school-record 146 strikeouts in 16 starts on the mound as a junior while also hitting .341 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs to win the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards as college baseball's top player. Drafted fourth overall by Tampa Bay in June, McKay received the second-highest signing bonus ($7,007,500) under the current set of Draft rules. 

McKay operates with a 92-95 mph fastball that he commands well against hitters on both sides of the plate, though his velocity is prone to dipping as he works deeper into games. Both his curveball and cutter project to be above-average pitches, and he showed good feel for a changeup during his pro debut after using it sparingly at Louisville. 

At the plate, McKay's smooth left-handed swing and mature all-fields approach led some evaluators to label him the best college bat in his class as a potential .300 hitter capable of hitting 20 homers per season. His lack of speed limits him to first base, but he proved a sound defender during his pro debut, and could become above average in time.


2017

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 30 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Regarded as the best two-way Draft prospect since Dave Winfield in 1973, McKay won the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award in each of his three seasons at Louisville. As a junior, he went 11-3 with a 2.56 ERA and a school-record 146 strikeouts in 16 starts on the mound, while also hitting .341 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs to win the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards as college baseball's top player. Drafted fourth overall by Tampa Bay in June, McKay, who commanded the second-highest signing bonus ($7,007,500) under the current set of Draft rules, will now have a chance to continue his two-way career in the professional ranks.

McKay usually opens games on the mound by working with a 90-94 mph fastball that loses a couple ticks of velocity by the middle innings. He could add more velo and maintain it better if he focused on pitching full-time, and his fastball command is so good that his heater is effective in the upper 80s. McKay's curveball is a consistent plus pitch and he's working on refining a changeup that he hasn't needed much to this point in his career.

At the plate, McKay's smooth left-handed swing and mature all-fields approach led some evaluators to label him the best college bat in his class as a potential .300 hitter capable of hitting 20 homers per season. His lack of speed limits him to first base, where he could become a solid defender with more work. The Rays will deploy him there, or at designated hitter, to begin his pro career, while also allowing him to take the mound every fifth day.



Statcast - Pitching

Season Pitches Batted Balls Barrels Barrel % Exit Velocity Launch Angle Sweet Spot % XBA XSLG WOBA XWOBA XWOBACON Hard Hit % K % BB % ERA xERA
2019 878 144 15 10.4 91.2 17.5 36.1 .261 .461 .333 .329 .418 44.4 25.9 7.4 5.14 4.63
ALL 878 144 15 10.4 91.2 17.5 36.1 .261 .461 .333 .329 .418 44.4 25.9 7.4
MLB 43639 6.4 88.3 11.9 32.8 .250 .414 .317 .321 .376 34.9 21.8 8.3

Transactions

Team Date Transaction
09/29/2020 Tampa Bay Rays reassigned LHP Brendan McKay to the minor leagues.
09/28/2020 Tampa Bay Rays recalled LHP Brendan McKay from Rays Alternate Training Site.
03/26/2020 Tampa Bay Rays optioned LHP Brendan McKay to Durham Bulls.
10/04/2019 Brendan McKay roster status changed by Tampa Bay Rays.
10/02/2019 Tampa Bay Rays reassigned LHP Brendan McKay to the minor leagues.
09/03/2019 Tampa Bay Rays recalled LHP Brendan McKay from Durham Bulls.
08/20/2019 Tampa Bay Rays optioned LHP Brendan McKay to Durham Bulls.
07/31/2019 Tampa Bay Rays recalled Brendan McKay from Durham Bulls.
07/20/2019 Tampa Bay Rays optioned LHP Brendan McKay to Durham Bulls.
07/19/2019 Tampa Bay Rays recalled Brendan McKay from Durham Bulls.
07/14/2019 Tampa Bay Rays optioned LHP Brendan McKay to Durham Bulls.
07/13/2019 Tampa Bay Rays recalled Brendan McKay from Durham Bulls.
07/06/2019 Tampa Bay Rays optioned LHP Brendan McKay to Durham Bulls.
06/29/2019 Tampa Bay Rays selected the contract of Brendan McKay from Durham Bulls.
06/29/2019 LHP Brendan McKay roster status changed by Durham Bulls.
06/28/2019 Durham Bulls placed LHP Brendan McKay on the temporarily inactive list.
05/26/2019 LHP Brendan McKay assigned to Durham Bulls from Montgomery Biscuits.
04/01/2019 LHP Brendan McKay assigned to Montgomery Biscuits from Charlotte Stone Crabs.
03/05/2019 LHP Brendan McKay assigned to Tampa Bay Rays.
09/15/2018 Charlotte Stone Crabs activated 1B Brendan McKay from the 7-day injured list.
08/30/2018 Charlotte Stone Crabs placed 1B Brendan McKay on the 7-day disabled list.
07/18/2018 Charlotte Stone Crabs activated 1B Brendan McKay from the 7-day disabled list.
07/09/2018 Charlotte Stone Crabs sent 1B Brendan McKay on a rehab assignment to GCL Rays.
06/19/2018 Charlotte Stone Crabs placed 1B Brendan McKay on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to June 15, 2018.
05/14/2018 1B Brendan McKay assigned to Charlotte Stone Crabs from Bowling Green Hot Rods.
04/02/2018 DH Brendan McKay assigned to Bowling Green Hot Rods from Hudson Valley Renegades.
07/16/2017 1B Brendan McKay assigned to Hudson Valley Renegades.
06/28/2017 Tampa Bay Rays signed 1B Brendan McKay.