With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (Monday to Wednesday on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.Name: Brendan McKayPosition: LHP/1BSchool: LouisvilleRank on Draft Top 200: 2DOB: 12/18/1995Bats: L Throws: LHeight: 6' 2" Weight: 212 lbs.:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::Tools
With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (Monday to Wednesday on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.
Name: Brendan McKay
Rank on Draft Top 200: 2
Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 212 lbs.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Top 20 Draft Prospects profiles
Games started: 15
IP: 97 1/3
Opp. batting avg.: .178
McKay won the John Olerud Award as college baseball's best two-way player in each of his first two seasons at Louisville after turning down the Padres as a 34th-rounder out of high school, and he's a lock to do so again after dominating more than ever this spring. He's a potential No. 1 overall pick, though clubs are still split as to whether he'll be better as a hitter or a pitcher. The 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year is a consensus top-10-overall choice either way, the first player regarded that highly since Dave Winfield in 1973.
McKay usually opens games on the mound by working with a 90-94 mph fastball that loses a couple ticks of velocity by the middle innings. He could add more velo and maintain it better if he focused on pitching full-time, and his fastball command is so good that his heater is effective in the upper 80s. McKay's curveball is a consistent plus pitch and he's working on refining a changeup that he hasn't needed much to this point in his career. His smooth left-handed swing and mature all-fields approach helped him lead the U.S. college national team in hitting (.326) and on-base percentage (.434) last summer. Some evaluators consider McKay the best college bat in the Draft and he's hitting for more power this year, showing the upside of a .300 hitter with 20 homers per season. His lack of speed limits him to first base, where he could become a solid defender with more work.
MLB comp: John Olerud
Fun fact: McKay's favorite athletes include Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw and Andrew McCutchen. His favorite foods are pizza, burgers and Chipotle.
He said it: "Honestly, I've been asked that question multiple times, and it's hard to come up with a specific answer, because you get the same adrenaline pumping, the same excitement hitting a home run or a big hit in a certain situation or striking out guys in a crucial situation, so that's tough to pick one."
-- On whether he gets more of a thrill from hitting a home run or getting a big strikeout
They said it: "Brendan is a special player, and when he's at his best, he can make the game look so easy, at the plate and on the mound. And that's a rare combination in a player at this level."
-- Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, after McKay hit four home runs in a game on April 25
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.