Let’s shift focus to another of the options for #1, Brendan McKay, who ended up being selected 4th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays. Unlike the Reds with Greene, the Rays have been content to let McKay get significant game time as both a hitter and a pitcher. The hitting results haven’t been too impressive yet. In 92 games in 2017 and 2018, including stints at the rookie ball, A-, A, and A+ levels, McKay is hitting just .221, though he does have a solid OBP of .361, likely thanks to a strong K:BB of 85:65.
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McKay has been more successful as a pitcher, through. In a total of 98.1 innings, again across rookie ball, A-, A, and A+ in 2017 and 2018, he’s put together a great 2.29 ERA. Perhaps the most impressive pitching statistic McKay claims is an amazing K:BB rate of 124 to 19. He is several years older than Lewis, currently 22, but that much control is pretty impressive no matter how old you are. In terms of prospect rankings, McKay is currently ranked 29th on MLB Pipeline and 22nd on Baseball Prospectus. The future is bright for McKay, but at this point Lewis does seem to be the better pick. Lewis ranks significantly higher on the top prospect lists than McKay. It’s also worth noting that pitching prospects tend to be much more volatile than hitters. It’s very common in today’s day and age for pitchers to be hit with Tommy John surgery that sets them back roughly a full year. There’s no indication that McKay is at any risk of that, but generally speaking, there is less risk with hitting prospects than pitching prospects.