Just 4 days after selecting Billy McKinney with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft the Oakland Athletics and the 18 year old outfielder have agreed to terms on a contract. Valued at $1.8 million, $100K below the slot bonus for that pick, the A’s will be able to get his professional career going in quick fashion. It’s certainly nice to see McKinney’s eagerness to sign, he was being recruited by TCU. He’s just the third first rounder to agree to terms. News of the signing was first reported by Jim Callis of Baseball America.
The book on McKinney is that he has one of those classic left handed “sweet swings.” The first name that comes to mind when I hear that associated with the Athletics is Ben Grieve, that’s a horrifying thought but hopefully McKinney has better tools than Ben did. He projects to stay at a corner outfield spot due to his general lack of speed, but he figures to hit for both average and power. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com proclaimed he just might be the best pure high school hitter in this year’s draft, high praise indeed.
He figures to start playing in short season ball, much like Addison Russell did last year after his signing. With youth on his side, McKinney will have plenty of time to gradually develop and nurture his skills so he can be a productive hitter for the Athletics in a few years.
The Athletics have also signed their fourth round pick Dylan Covey, a 2010 first round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers with the 14th overall pick. He didn’t sign with the Brewers after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
So far so good for the Athletics in draft season.