Brendan McKay (baseball)

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Brendan McKay
McKay John Olerud Award presentation (19779172365).jpg
McKay (left) with Frank Thomas
Tampa Bay Rays
Pitcher / First baseman
Born: (1995-12-18) December 18, 1995 (age 22)
Darlington, Pennsylvania
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Career highlights and awards

Brendan Joel McKay (born December 18, 1995) is an American baseball pitcher and first baseman in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He played college baseball at the University of Louisville.

Amateur career[edit]

McKay attended Blackhawk High School in Chippewa, Pennsylvania.[1] As a senior, he had a ​72 13 consecutive scoreless innings streak. Overall, he was 8–1 with a 0.56 earned run average (ERA) and 130 strikeouts. McKay was named the Pennsylvania Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons.[2] He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 34th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign and attended the University of Louisville to play college baseball.[3]

McKay was a two-way player at Louisville as a freshman in 2015, pitching and playing first base.[4][5] McKay pitched in 20 games, making 13 starts. He went 9–3 with a 1.77 ERA, 117 strikeouts and four saves. In 61 games as a first baseman, he hit .308/.418/.431 with four home runs and 34 runs batted in (RBI). Due to his two-way success, he won the John Olerud Award.[6][7] McKay was also named the Baseball America Freshman of the Year.[8] As a sophomore, McKay again won the John Olerud Award.[9] As a pitcher, he went 12–4 with a 2.30 ERA and 128 strikeouts and hit .333/.414/.513 with six home runs and 41 RBI as a hitter.

McKay won numerous awards as a junior in 2017. He won the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy and was named the Player of the Year by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Baseball America.[10][11][12][13] He also won the John Olerud Award for the third consecutive season and was named the ACC Baseball Player of the year.[14][15]

Professional career[edit]

McKay was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round (4th overall) of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, and signed.[16][17] It was announced that McKay's signing bonus with the Rays for more than $7 million, the second largest such signing since constraints were placed on the draft in 2012 (Hunter Greene).[18] The Rays announced that they intended for McKay to both hit and pitch in the minors.[19] He was assigned to the Hudson Valley Renegades and spent the whole season there.[20] In 36 games, he batted .232 with four home runs and 22 RBI along with pitching 20 innings, posting a 1.80 ERA with 21 strikeouts.[21] In the 2017 midseason prospect update, McKay ranked as the 3rd best prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays farm system (Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames) and the 23rd best prospect nationally.[22]

He began 2018 with the Rays' Class A affiliate, the Bowling Green Hot Rods, and was subsequently promoted to the Advanced A Charlotte Stone Crabs, where he both pitched and plays first base.[23] In 21 games for Bowling Green, he hit .254 with one home run and 16 RBIs along with posting a 2-0 record with a 1.09 ERA in six starts. In 32 games for Charlotte, McKay batted .210 with five home runs and 21 RBIs and in 11 games (nine starts) on the mound, he went 3-2 with a 3.21 ERA.[24][25]


  1. ^ "Blackhawk ace Brendan McKay has pro scouts swooning in advance of June draft". Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  2. ^ "Blackhawk southpaw Brendan McKay chasing history, tabbed Pennsylvania's Gatorade Player of the Year". Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  3. ^ Steve Jones, (June 5, 2014). "Louisville baseball signee Brendan McKay has pro option". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  4. ^ "Brendan McKay: Louisville standout pitcher who can hit – or vice versa". newsobserver. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Jeff Greer (May 29, 2015). "Even-keeled Brendan McKay making waves for Louisville baseball". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  6. ^ Jeff Greer (June 30, 2015). "Louisville baseball's Brendan McKay adds another prestigious award". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  7. ^ "Lexington, KY local and state news by the Lexington Herald-Leader -". Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  8. ^ "Brendan McKay named 2015 Baseball America Freshman of the Year". Timesonline. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  9. ^ "Brendan McKay repeats as John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award winner". July 1, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "McKay Wins Golden Spikes Award". June 29, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "Brendan McKay wins Dick Howser Trophy". Major League Baseball.
  12. ^ "Brendan McKay named Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Player of the Year". LouisvilleCardinal.Com. June 2, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  13. ^ "2017 College Player of the Year: Brendan McKay Excels On All Fronts -". June 8, 2017.
  14. ^ "Louisville baseball - Brendan McKay claims Olerud Award ... again".
  15. ^ "ACC Announces 2017 Baseball Season Honors". TheAcc.Com. May 22, 2017. Archived from the original on June 1, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  16. ^ "Rays draft Brendan McKay 4th overall". Tampa Bay Rays.
  17. ^ "MLB Draft 2017 - Brendan McKay drafted No. 4 by Tampa Bay Rays, who'll try him both ways".
  18. ^ "Rays give 4th overall pick Brendan McKay record-setting signing bonus". Fox News. 2017-06-28. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  19. ^ "Brendan McKay, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the two-way experiment". DRaysBay. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  20. ^ "Rays' Brendan McKay: Expected to make pro debut next week". Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  21. ^ "Brendan McKay Stats, Highlights, Bio - Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  22. ^ " 2017 Prospect Watch". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  23. ^ "Rays promote two-way prospect Brendan McKay to Port Charlotte-based Stone Crabs". Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Brendan McKay Stats, Highlights, Bio - Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved October 23, 2018.

External links[edit]