ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have selected left-handed pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay from the University of Louisville with the No. 4 pick in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
McKay, 21, is a three-time winner of collegiate baseball’s John Olerud Award, which is given to the nation’s top two-way player. He is the only player to win the award multiple times. He was tabbed as the No. 2 overall player in this year’s draft by MLB.com and was ranked third by Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law.
This is the fourth time that the current ownership group led by Stuart Sternberg has held a Top 10 overall pick in the draft. With their three previous selections, they drafted third baseman Evan Longoria (No. 3 overall in 2006), left-handed pitcher David Price (No. 1 overall in 2007) and shortstop Tim Beckham (No. 1 overall in 2008).
McKay is one of four finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, which is given to the top player in collegiate baseball. In addition, he has been named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which is given to the top amateur baseball player in the United States. The winner of the Dick Howser Trophy will be announced on Friday, June 16, while finalists for the Golden Spikes Award will be announced on Wednesday, June 14, and the winner announced on Thursday, June 29.
Through the Super Regionals, McKay is batting .343 (72-for-210) with 17 home runs and 56 RBI and has gone 10-3 with a 2.34 ERA (104-IP, 27-ER) and 140 strikeouts in 16 starts. He was named the 2017 ACC Player of the Year and is currently tied for fifth in the conference in home runs, tied for first in wins, fourth in ERA, first in strikeouts and third in innings pitched.
McKay was Baseball America’s 2017 College Player of the Year, an honor David Price also received 10 years ago prior to being selected by the Rays. The award’s previous winners include Andrew Benintendi (2015), Kris Bryant (2013), Anthony Rendon (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), Alex Gordon (2005) and Mark Prior (2001).