A product of the New Hampshire prep ranks, McKenna was committed to Liberty before the Orioles drafted him in the fourth round and signed him for slot value. He showed well in his first full season, tallying 42 extra-base hits and 20 steals at Class A Delmarva, and then broke out in earnest in 2018 with a torrid first half in the Class A Advanced Carolina League (.377/.467/.556) before a bump up to Double-A in June. While he didn't fare as well in the Eastern League (.239/.341/.338), McKenna did get back on track in the Arizona Fall League, finishing fifth in the batting race (.344) and second in OPS (1.064).
McKenna's quick bat and natural feel for finding the barrel helps him make consistent line-drive contact, and he's become increasingly comfortable hitting to all fields as he's faced better pitching. He's also made strides in refining his approach, demonstrating a combination of patience and aggressiveness that fuels his ability to both hit for average and get on base at a solid clip. While McKenna projects for more gap power than true over-the-fence pop, some evaluators believe he could have seasons with double-digit homers in his prime.
McKenna gets out of the box exceptionally well for a right-handed hitter and routinely posts plus-or-better home-to-first run times. That speed also gives him the chance to stay in center field, and he has more than enough arm strength for the position. Overall, McKenna has the ceiling of a center fielder who hits at either the top or bottom of the lineup, and his well-rounded game gives him a realistic fourth-outfielder floor.
Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of CF Ryan McKenna from Bowie Baysox.
Baltimore Orioles invited non-roster CF Ryan McKenna to spring training.
CF Ryan McKenna assigned to Glendale Desert Dogs.
CF Ryan McKenna assigned to Bowie Baysox from Frederick Keys.
CF Ryan McKenna assigned to Frederick Keys from Delmarva Shorebirds.
OF Ryan McKenna assigned to Baltimore Orioles.
CF Ryan McKenna assigned to Delmarva Shorebirds from Aberdeen IronBirds.
CF Ryan McKenna assigned to Baltimore Orioles.
CF Ryan McKenna assigned to Aberdeen IronBirds from GCL Orioles.