Brendan McKay is arguably the most interesting guy we’ll talk about today. The Tampa Bay Rays selected the southpaw fourth overall in the 2017 draft, but as a two-way player. In his final year in college, McKay had an OPS over 1.100 as a first baseman and 2.56 ERA on the mound as a starting pitcher.
The Rays continued to let McKay both hit and pitch, but by 2019, it was evident that his pitching far exceeded his hitting prowess. They still gave him some plate appearances in the major leagues, and went 2-for-10 with a walk. Not bad for a guy who was also a guy who looked like he could secure a long-term rotation spot.
However, that was in 2019. Since 2019, McKay has not pitched in the big leagues because of multiple injuries. Between this season and last, the former consensus top 20 prospect has just 14.2 innings under his belt. It’s been a hard fall from grace for the now 26-year-old.
What McKay can do now is up in the air. When he’s healthy, he can average out around 92-95 MPH with a quality curveball, cutter, slider, and change-up. McKay’s vast arsenal of offerings is only helped by the fact he developed quality command. Again, where McKay sits now is highly questionable, given he’s barely pitched in three years.
Maybe the Pittsburgh Pirates could get McKay by including a change-of-scenery candidate of their own in Kevin Newman or go for a higher-quality rental in Ben Gamel. While I get the whole “Don’t trade with the Rays” idea, I think mcKay would be a nice buy low prospect candidate.