The New York Yankees acquired Billy McKinney in a pre-deadline deal with the Cubs. Let’s learn a little more about one of the newest additions to a strong farm.
Billy McKinney is a new addition to the New York Yankees’ farm system who is known for his quick left-handed swing and decent abilities as an athlete. The 21-year-old is a kid that most people do not notice at first glance but has loads of potential.
Coming over from the Cubs in a trade that sent Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago, McKinney was a piece of the deal that flew under the radar. He is currently ranked as the 16th best prospect in the Yankees’ loaded farm system and carries a nice bat and average speed.
Scouting grades via MLB Pipeline: Hit: 55 / Power: 40 / Run: 45 / Arm: 45 / Field: 50 / Overall: 50
The bat is not the aspect of McKinney that scouts are worried about because he is great at making contact. They are more worried, however, about McKinney’s poor running skills which could be the result of a previous broken kneecap injury.
Being drafted right out of high school, McKinney started his professional baseball career at an early age. He attended Plano West Senior High School in Plano, Texas. He led the school’s baseball team to the state’s Class 5A semifinals.
McKinney was drafted with the 24th overall pick by the Oakland Athletics in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft. He later signed with the Athletics, receiving a $1.8 million signing bonus.
Soon thereafter, he began the 2014 season with the Stockton Ports, the Oakland Athletics Class A-Advanced affiliate. With the Ports, he sported a slash line of .241/.330/.400 with 10 home runs in 75 games until being traded to the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline.
Spending most of 2015 in AA, McKinney was starting to show his abilities until a devastating injury struck him. While batting, he tipped a foul ball off of his knee and broke his aforementioned kneecap which would leave him on the disabled list for the rest of the season.
Returning from the injury in 2016, he was excited to hit the field again and show the Cubs his talent. But once again he would be involved in a trade deadline blockbuster just like in 2014 when he was sent from the Athletics to the Cubs in a deal that sent starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Oakland.
When asked what it meant to him to be a Yankee by Chris Shearn of the YES Network, his response was, “It meant a lot. It kind of gave me the chills.” He added, “It’s just an honor and a blessing at the same time.”
Very excited about being in the Yankees organization, we should expect to see McKinney give it his all to try and prove that he belongs in the major leagues with much competition around him.
Currently ranked as the fifth best outfield prospect in the Yankees’ system, McKinney really has to work hard to earn that spot on the Major League roster that many guys are aiming for.
So when should we expect to see Billy McKinney in Yankee pinstripes? His MLB ETA, according to MLB Pipeline, is 2017, so that means we could see McKinney in the big leagues as soon as next season.
Before he arrives in New York, he still has some things to work on in order make a name for himself in AAA next season. With that said, the future definitely looks bright for the young outfielder.