The Tampa Bay Rays newly minted top pitching prospect (at least by using the mid-season update from FanGraphs) is also straight-up demolishing baseballs at the plate.
LHP Brendan McKay has continued to be a two-way player after his promotion to Triple-A, despite hitting a mere .167/.256/.192 at Double-A, and with that trust has come some impressive results.
In 10 games (40 PA), McKay already has three home runs — not to mention a .375 OBP (129 wRC+) — and all three of those home runs have been moonshots.
Take this one to straight-away center from Durham’s most recent game:
Landing well beyond the 395 sign, it’s a home run in almost any park McKay could be playing in.
His first longball came on May 30th — the week of his promotion — with an oppo-shot over the “Blue Monster” at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The second came just three days ago on June 11th with a deep shot that was so well struck the camera had no idea what to do. Was it straight away? Also opposite field? You don’t see the ball land, but we know where it went: to right field.
All three of these videos have something in common as well: the pitches were in the 80’s.
The most difficult part of graduating to Double-A, as McKay did to start this year, is facing consistently good off-speed stuff for the first time. Most players will struggle; heck, most teams will struggle.
Hitting off-speed stuff for dingers is a welcome improvement for Tampa Bay’s — just checking my notes again — best pitching prospect.
Thanks to Dominik Vega for the GIF’s.