Rays promote two-way prospect Brendan McKay to Port Charlotte-based Stone Crabs

It's a rare moment when Rays two-way prospect Brendan McKay gets to stand still and watch. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
It's a rare moment when Rays two-way prospect Brendan McKay gets to stand still and watch. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published May 12
Updated May 12

The Brendan McKay two-way experiment is coming to a Florida State League ballpark near you.

The Rays promoted their prized pitching and hitting prospect to the Port Charlotte-based advanced Class A Stone Crabs effective Monday after he dominated during five weeks with Bowling Green in the Midwest League.

RELATED: Can the Rays two-way experiment with McKay work?

On the mound: 2-0, 1.09 in six starts, allowing eight hits in 24 2/3 innings, striking out 40 walking two. (Yes, two.)

At the plate: .254 with one homer, 16 RBIs, 28 walks (contributing to a .484 on-base percentage) compared to 13 strikeouts, an .817 OPS.

"From the beginning we've know this is a really unique player, and the two-way profile means there's a lot of uncharted territory for his development path,'' Rays senior VP Chaim Bloom said. "But it was just clear to everybody that he is more than advanced enough to have earned this promotion. The approach he has shown on both sides of the ball, to say nothing of the performance, has been exceptional.''

McKay, signed for a current-rules record $7,005,000 bonus after being the No. 4 pick last year, is a lefty starter and expected to take the mound for the first time for the Crabs on Friday. He splits his other time between first base and DH.

"The results we've seen (as a pitcher) have been so phenomenal that he would be really hard-pressed to match that as a hitter,'' Bloom said. "But he's shown such as advanced approach at the plate, in fact to the point it felt at time he was being pitched around at that level.''

Though Port Charlotte is only about 90 minutes from the Tampa Bay area, the Crabs will be in Tampa May 21-24 and next month visit Bradenton, Dunedin and Lakeland.

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