Tampa Bay Rays Fantasy: Brendan McKay could star in short season

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 29: Brendan McKay #49 of the Tampa Bay Rays(Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 29: Brendan McKay #49 of the Tampa Bay Rays(Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays Fantasy: Whether we get 50 games or 80 games, in a shortened season we really like Brendan McKay as a breakout stud.

The Tampa Bay Rays selected the two-way player with the fourth pick of the 2017 draft out of Louisville. Brendan McKay is currently Baseball America’s 14th-best prospect in the game. The sky is the limit for the young lefty, and we think a shortened season can only help his case.

Tampa Bay Rays: Brendan McKay Fantasy Breakout

With a shortened season, every game is going to have a playoff atmosphere. If McKay’s electric arm is available every fifth day, he’s likely to get the call. This year, there won’t be any need for an innings limit on young pitchers. The limit is already built into the schedule.

He hasn’t just been good in the minors, he has dominated. Across three minor-league seasons, he has pitched in 172 innings with 226 strikeouts while allowing just 37 walks. His career minor league ERA is 1.78 while his WHIP is 0.837. He has been a sensation.

In recent years, we’ve seen young pitchers break onto the scene and make the transition without a hitch. Jacob deGrom, Jack Flaherty, and Mike Soroka, just to name a few. While we saw a little of Brendan McKay in the majors last season, it was a very small sample size. He came up one inning shy of exceeding his rookie eligibility. He still has a shot at Rookie of the Year but he’s got 49.0 major-league innings under his belt.

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His talent could claim one of the ever five-day spots in the rotation. Yonny Chirinos and Ryan Yarbrough are fantastic soft-contact pitchers, but if McKay is living up to his talent then you find a way to get him in the rotation. He has a chance to not just be a fantasy breakout, but a legitimate star in the sport.