Brendan McKay
23-Year-Old PitcherRP
Tampa Bay Rays A+
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The bulk of the MLB value McKay will provide will come as a starting pitcher, but he will continue to be developed as a two-way player, for now. The 6-foot-2 southpaw dominated across 78.1 innings, primarily at Low-A and High-A. McKay works with a plus fastball (92-94 mph) and plus cutter, mixing in a curveball and changeup that are solid third and fourth pitches. His advanced strike-throwing ability allows his arsenal to play up. He missed a month in the middle of the season with a strained oblique and his GB% plummeted from an elite 61.0% in the Midwest League to a below-average 37.7% in the Florida State League. Already 23 years old, McKay seems destined to be a No. 3 starter, as early as 2020. At the plate, he walks almost as much as he strikes out, but that passivity prohibits him from regularly getting to his plus power. He is no Shohei Ohtani, but could get some starts at first base or DH against righties when he is not pitching. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a contract with the Rays in June of 2017 that includes a $7 million signing bonus.
No longer playing field
PTampa Bay Rays  A+
February 11, 2019
The Rays intend to use McKay exclusively as a designated hitter rather than as a first baseman on his non-pitching days throughout the 2019 season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The Rays are hopeful that removing defensive responsibilities will simplify McKay's pre-game schedule and aid his development both as a pitcher and hitter. Additionally, McKay's lack of time at first base should increase his chances of avoiding extended absences after oblique injuries forced him to the disabled list on two occasions in 2018. McKay performed much better as a pitcher in his first full professional season, logging a 2.41 ERA and 110:14 K:BB in 78.1 innings between rookie ball, Low-A Bowling Green and High-A Charlotte. Over 56 games as a hitter -- during which half of his starts came at first base -- McKay slashed a pedestrian .214/.368/.359 with six home runs and 39 RBI across 192 at-bats.
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2018 Fantasy Outlook
The dream of a true two-way player is alive with McKay, who received the second highest bonus in the 2017 draft. He was Hudson Valley's starting pitcher every Sunday, got Wednesday's off for his side session, and saw time at first base and DH in between. On the mound, the 6-foot-2 lefty has a quality four-pitch mix, led by his 93-94 mph fastball. He notched a 21:5 K:BB in 20 innings while holding hitters to a .147 average, looking the part of a future mid-rotation starter. As a hitter, he slashed .268/.374/.454 with four home runs in 97 at-bats against righties, but was completely overmatched in a small sample against lefties. The Rays have said they envisioned him as a hitter when they drafted him, so he may still end up as a full-time first baseman. He worked strictly as a hitter in fall instructs after reaching his innings limit on the mound, but given his relative success in both roles, he will probably go back out as a two-way player again this season.
More Fantasy News
Put on DL with oblique issue
PTampa Bay Rays  A+
August 30, 2018
McKay was placed on the 7-day disabled list at High-A Charlotte due to an oblique issue, Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Shines on mound Tuesday
PTampa Bay Rays  A+
August 8, 2018
McKay spun five shutout innings while notching five strikeouts and giving up only three hits and a walk Tuesday in High-A Charlotte's 4-0 win over Bradenton.
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RBI double in return to action
PTampa Bay Rays  A+
July 19, 2018
McKay went 1-for-4 with an RBI double and a run in High-A Charlotte's loss to Tampa on Wednesday.
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Activated from DL
PTampa Bay Rays  A+
July 18, 2018
McKay (oblique) was reinstated from the minor-league disabled list Wednesday, Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Begins rehab assignment
PTampa Bay Rays  A+
July 10, 2018
McKay (oblique) went 0-for-3 with a HBP for Tampa Bay's rookie Gulf Coast League team Monday as part of a rehab assignment.
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