The Rays selected Louisville 1B/LHP Brendan McKay with the fourth overall pick in the draft, a true two-way player.
As the best athlete on their teams, most draft prospects pitch and field a position, but Brendan McKay is unique in that he grades as a first round draft talent in all aspect of the game, both hitting and fielding as a first baseman, and pitching as a southpaw.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced him in the draft room as a first baseman, and that carried over into the immediate interviews with McKay on MLB Network, but all the media chatter since then points to that being an oversight:
MLB Network's draft show is incorrect. Brendan McKay expects to play first base and pitch in the Tampa Bay Rays' minor league system.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 12, 2017
McKay should have been announced as a 1b AND LHP - Tampa is hoping to have McKay hit and pitch all the way through to the big leagues— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 12, 2017
In a conference call after he was drafted, McKay said that while most teams wanted him to commit to one position, the Rays were open to McKay remaining a two-way talent.
Two-way players are few and far between at the major league level, and good ones are unheard of, but Brendan McKay wants to “add a whole new level to baseball” by becoming a true two-way talent at the major league level. For their part, the Rays are committed to allowing the experiment to unfurl.
Should he prove himself capable, the Rays will allow McKay to pitch and hit as far as he can go through the system.
We will update this article when the time comes. In the meantime, please enjoy this interview with McKay from MLB Daily Dish.