Minnesota Twins: Brendan McKay Possibly the New Front Runner for First Pick
The Minnesota Twins receive the first overall selection in this year’s MLB draft in June, and Brendan McKay has people talking about the number one spot.
Brendan McKay, a first baseman/ left handed pitcher from Louisville, is projected to go to the Minnesota Twins first overall in both Baseball America and MLB.com’s mock drafts.
McKay was originally drafted by the Padre’s in the 34th round of the 2014 MLB draft before deciding to go to college.
In college, McKay showed he can be a dual threat. He won the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award in consecutive years in 2015 and 2016.
As a hitter alone McKay showed he could be a good prospect. In his career at Louisville, he ended with a .338 batting average and an on base percentage of over .500 in his senior year. Brendan McKay is not well known for his power, although he did put up 14 home runs in 44 games played in his final year of college.
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However, the most remarkable thing about Brendan McKay is his arm. In high school, he held a 72 and 1/3 consecutive scoreless inning streak his senior year. He finished that year with an 8-1 record and a 0.56 ERA.
High school stats can be tricky due to lack of competition, yet McKay continued his dominance in college. He finished with an ERA just north of two in his three year career.
The problem for Minnesota Twins is upside.
McKay’s fastball sits in the mid to low 90’s and his best pitch is his curveball. This sounds like Twins pitchers we have seen for the past decade. The Twins have relied on lower velocity pitchers for the better part of a decade with little success. Names like Nick Blackburn, Kyle Gibson and Scott Diamond come to mind when thinking about lower velocity pitchers. This list of names should make any Twins fan cringe.
The draft at this point appears to be a two horse race between McKay and Hunter Greene. Hunter Greene is a man of many talents, but his biggest upside appears to be his arm, similar to McKay. The biggest difference however is Greene can hit triple digits on the gun and has command of three pitches.
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If the Twins want to break out of mediocrity, they need to reach for potential stars. Brendan McKay could end up being a good pro, but the Twins should go all in on Hunter Greene.