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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Brendan McKay the pitcher continues to shine

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Brendan McKay’s arm is outperforming his bat, for now

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Louisville vs Texas A&M Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Exactly a week after he made his pitching debut, the Rays 2017 first round draft pick LHP/1B Brendan McKay bumped his work load up an inning to go 3.0 full scoreless, allowing 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 3 batters. Pitching every 7 days instead of 5 is in line with his college schedule from earlier this year. McKay has yet to give up a run across 2 appearances of 5.0 total innings. He hasn’t had as much success with the bat in the early going, though. Slashing .200/.297/.327 with a 31.3% K rate over his first 64 professional plate appearances is not exactly encouraging, but it is still very early and it does look like he’s running into some bad luck on his balls in play. I would expect that slash to improve soon.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (70-43)

Ryan Yarbrough led the Bulls to victory and his 12th win on the season in the 1-0 pitcher duel against a duo of Norfolk Tides. Going 7.2 scoreless innings on just 86 pitches while allowing a measly three singles and no walks is quite impressive. Willy Adames contributed 2 hits and the only run of the game, while Patrick Leonard’s 3 hit night included the only RBI of the game. Jake Bauers reached base twice via the walk.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (61-52)

Benton Moss out pitched his counterpart in a 2-1 win over the Mobile BayBears. After missing 22 days in July, Moss has now allowed just 2 runs in 15 innings of work since coming back. He also appears to be close to fully stretched out again, going for his longest outing since June 28th. The 2015 6th round pick is having a sneaky successful minor league career so far.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (53-57)

Burch Smith’s start did not go how he planned it to, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. Smith has issued at least one walk in all but his first appearance of the season, totaling 16 free passes in 29.0 innings pitched. Nate Lowe hit his first Class A+ home run, and added a walk to his day as well.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (58-52)

The Bowling Green offense continued to click as they put up 8 hits (4 for extra bases) and 6 walks on the day. Garrett Whitley added his 10th home run of the season, while Jesus Sanchez and Robbie Tenerowicz reached base 3 times a piece. Sanchez is a well known name by now, but Tenerowicz is slashing .309/.379/.525 for a 154 wRC+ as a 22 year old in Single A. He’s not young for the league, but all he’s done is hit since being drafted in the 27th round last year. Someone to keep an eye on.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (22-24)

The rest of the game didn’t go so well after Brendan McKay’s aforementioned scoreless 3.0 inning start. Jhonleider Salinas gave up 3 runs in 5 innings, then Eduard Rosilla gave up another 6 in the 9th inning. Zacrey Law smashed his third home run of the season, but that was all the offense could muster.

Rookie Princeton Rays (17-27)

Princeton’s offense, on the other hand, had a pretty stellar night. Every player in the lineup reached base safely at least once, and Trey Hair smacked his 7th home run in just 155 plate appearances. The team put up 10 runs on mostly small ball, as the only other extra base hit was Jose Tonton’s 2nd triple of the season.

Go to this milb page to check out Sunday’s box scores, and then go here to see today’s match ups. Looks like a pretty busy day with every team in the organization scheduled to play.