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Rays sign two-way standout McKay

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No. 4 overall selection will report to Class A Hudson Valley

The Rays have agreed to terms with Brendan McKay — the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft — the club confirmed on Tuesday. The deal is for $7,007,500, a source told MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Tampa Bay said after drafting McKay that the team was open to letting him continue to be a two-way player.  McKay is a 3-time winner of the John Olerud award for best two-way player in college baseball.

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“Our scouting staff believes that Brendan has the ability to impact a Major League roster on the mound, in the batter’s box and defensively at first base,” said Rays director of amateur scouting Rob Metzler in the Rays release. “We are excited to provide Brendan the unique opportunity to further develop as a two-way prospect. On top of Brendan’s physical ability, he is a young man with strong character and a great mental foundation for playing baseball. It is great news that we were able to complete a deal so quickly after the College World Series, and get him started on his professional journey.”

McKay, a left-handed pitcher and first baseman from the University of Louisville who won the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball’s top player this year, was Tampa Bay’s top pick in the Draft. The 21-year-old was rated the No. 2 prospect available in the Draft by MLBPipeline.com. He will be assigned to Class A Hudson Valley.

“It’s awesome to sign so quickly after the College World Series,” McKay said. “Our season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but now I can get back to playing very soon and continue living my dream.”

The Rays’ terms with McKay would be over slot value for the No. 4 pick, which is $6,153,600.

McKay hit .363 with 17 home runs and a 1.186 OPS during Louisville’s regular season, and went 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 91 innings on the mound.

“I think it can add a whole new level to baseball of having two guys in one that can do both and add a lot of potential to your team in many ways,” McKay said after the Draft.

Source: Rays sign two-way standout McKay by David Adler

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