Given that fans may see plenty of him for years to come, let’s give Billy McKinney a warm New York Yankees welcome and get to know him further.
Billy McKinney, 21, was a 2013 first-round pick of the Oakland A’s who has made his way into the eyes of scouts throughout the league. The young outfielder was shipped to Chicago in July of 2014 as part of the Jeff Samardzija–Addison Russell swap.
Ranked as baseball’s 74th best prospect by BaseballProspectus.com prior to the season, he has spent his entire season with the Tennessee Smokies — the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate.
Currently possessing a .252/.355/.322 slash with 31 RBIs in 88 games, he will likely be start his Yankee career in Trenton. Somewhat struggling this year, the intrigue in McKinney’s direction is based off a .300/.371/.454 slash with 64 RBIs in combined between High-A and Double-A last year.
MLB Pipeline’s evaluation of the left-handed hitter included these observations:
“McKinney has hit everywhere he has gone, the result of his quick left-handed swing, tremendous hand-eye coordination and mature approach. He also draws enough walks to record healthy on-base percentages, though some evaluators question how much over-the-fence power he’ll develop. He has bat speed and makes hard contact easily, so he has the potential to produce plenty of doubles with 15 or more homers per season.”
Additional information included that despite bursting upon the league as a center fielder, he is better suited as a corner outfielder.
Pipeline’s scouting grades evaluate McKinney in all facets of his game:
Hit: 60 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 45 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
Although there is certainly work to be done, the Yankees may have a Brett Gardner-esque talent in the making. With that said, his true value may lie externally rather than internally.
Already ranked as their No. 5 overall prospect, if the front office can package a proper deal including his services, greater value may be on its way to the Bronx.