BRETT McKINNEY, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: November 19, 1990
Height: 6′ 1″
Drafted: 19th Round, 569th Overall, 2013
How Acquired: Draft
College: Ohio State
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|McKinney moved to the bullpen during his senior year with Ohio State, and his numbers improved significantly. As a starter he threw about 90 mph, but as a reliever in the pros, his fastball was typically been around 94-95. He eventually started relying primarily on a cutter, though, which sits in the low-90s. He throws with a high effort delivery and can have command issues. McKinney was a senior and signed quickly.
The Pirates used McKinney as the primary closer at Jamestown. He mostly did well, but had a little trouble with gopher balls, allowing five, which was more than one every six innings. According to Baseball America, his fastball topped out at 95-96.
McKinney opened the season in extended spring training, but the Pirates sent him to West Virginia in mid-April and he spent the season there, except for making his very last appearance for Bradenton. He had a strong season, although his walk rate increased a bit and he had a slight problem with HRs, allowing six. He gave up five in his first season, so that could be an issue. McKinney had a huge platoon split, holding right-handed batters to a puny .490 OPS, while left-handed batters had an .801 OPS against him.
McKinney moved up to Bradenton to open the season. He pitched well without quite dominating and the Pirates promoted him to Altoona in mid-June. His first appearance there was forgettable, as he gave up eight runs, all earned, in an inning and two-thirds. His final numbers in AA obviously were very bad: opponents batted .313 against him, he gave up a HR every six innings, and his control was poor. A lot of it, though, came from three outings. Aside from his first one, he had two others in which he allowed ten runs in one inning total. In his other 21 outings, his ERA was 2.30. Of course, most pitchers would look good if you took away the worst 10-15% of their games, but McKinney’s meltdowns were extreme. On the season as a whole, he continued to have trouble with left-handed batters, who pummeled him for an OPS of .996.
McKinney returned to Altoona and had just a decent season. Opponents put up a 260/336/388 line against him; all of those numbers were close to league average. He walked a few too many hitters, but generally kept the ball in the park, allowing just three HRs. His problems with left-handed hitters continued. They had a 327/425/467 line against him. He held right-handed hitters to 212/267/331.
McKinney spent the season at Indianapolis as a sort of utility reliever, depending on the team’s needs at the moment. He pitched in late-inning spots and in long relief, coming on a number of times in the early innings, even the first, when the starter got lifted quickly. He had a number of outings of three-plus innings and went four innings in one start. McKinney got results very similar to the previous year. He had some ups and downs, with very good months in May and July, and rough ones in June and August. He had no platoon split.
McKinney’s been a very useful reliever the past two years. He’ll probably continue in the same role in 2018.
|2018: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2013
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 8, 2013: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 19th round, 569th overall pick; signed on June 12.|