The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Billy McKinney | OF
A Texas kid out of Plano West High School, McKinney played for the Texas Scout Team Yankees last fall — the Yankees use the club to familiarize themselves with Texas high school prospects (2012 second rounder Austin Aune played for the squad a year ago) — and starred at the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association World Championship in Florida back in November. He’s committed to TCU.
McKinney, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 lbs., stands out for his offensive potential from the left side of the plate. He consistently gets the fat part of the bat on the ball thanks to his smooth and easy left-handed swing. McKinney is a line drive gap-to-gap hitter with some power potential, and the hitting tools all play up because of his advanced approach. He’s one of the best pure hitters in the draft class, high school or college.
Although he plays center field in high school and shows good speed with an okay arm, McKinney might end up in a corner outfield spot down the line as he fills out and slows down. Regardless, his bat is his calling card and the reason teams are looking at him prior to the draft. Here’s some more video. Love that swing.
Baseball America (subs. req’d) ranked McKinney as 23rdth best prospect in the class in today’s updated rankings while Keith Law (subs. req’d) had him 27th last month. He looks to be very much in that late-first round/supplemental round mix at the moment, and we know he’s on the Yankees’ radar since he played for their Texas Scout Team just a few months ago. The Yankees love pure high school hitters like J.R. Murphy and Tyler Austin even if their position is unsettled, so McKinney sure seems like someone they could target with one of their top three picks (26th, 32nd, 33rd).