Brendan McKay didn’t seem too pleased about being drafted by the Rays on Monday night.
Being selected in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft is a momentous occasion for any high school or college baseball player. Unless you’re Brendan McKay.
After the Minnesota Twins shook up the 2017 MLB Draft by selecting Royce Lewis as the No. 1 pick, all bets were off when it came to the subsequent selections. Hunter Greene took the No. 2 spot, going to the Reds. By the time Brendan McKay was chosen as the No. 4 pick by the Tampa Bay Rays, well, let’s just say he didn’t look too pleased.
Brendan McKay, a LHP/1B combo player from Louisville, was rumored to be a contender at the top pick in the draft, but his name wasn’t called until the fourth spot. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays who only called him out as a first baseman. McKay, whose Louisville team is about to play in the 2017 College World Series, might be pitching his last game before leaving for the MLB on a new journey as a hitter and position player.
McKay was visibly shaken with the announcement, turning a funny shade of reddish purple as his friends and family patted him on the back and shook his hand. It wasn’t until the MLB Network commentators talked to him about pitching his last game in the CWS that he cracked a smile. It was a bittersweet smile at that, given that he seems to prefer being a pitcher based upon his reaction.
It’s not immediately clear whether it was the choice of teams, the presumptive end of his pitching career, or the sting of being selected No. 4 overall that led to McKay’s reaction. Keep in mind, of course, that this is a college junior with the national spotlight on him, so you can’t fault him for showing some emotion. Or no emotion at all, and more of a sickly, I’m-going-to-puke kind of emotional response.
Regardless, McKay will have one last performance on the mound before heading South to start work with the Rays.