A stronger case can be made for McKay as the first overall selection if he were solely a first baseman, but the result would be the same: His stats would likely get him into the first round, but would fail to separate him from the other perceived first-round bats such as Virginia’s Pavin Smith, Vanderbilt’s Jeren Kendall or Missouri State’s Jake Burger, meaning Minnesota would, with millions on the line, go in another direction with their pick. hat McKay is a combination of these two scenarios, a first-round pitcher and first-round hitter, has created an illusion that has launched him from solid first-rounder to possible top-pick in the draft.
Recent draft history also provides a cautionary tale for the Twins. The Mariners took another “can’t miss” two-way prospect, Virginia’s Danny Hultzen, with the second-overall pick in the 2011 draft, only to see him fail to live up to his billing in four injury-plagued seasons in the minors.
I think it’s only going to get bigger. I think we all acknowledge we’re sitting on a great asset for the network. Major League Baseball, at some point — and this is Greg Amsinger’s opinion, I don’t speak on behalf of the network — but I do believe there will be a day where Major League Baseball does not schedule baseball games on the night of the draft. It makes all the sense in the world. People all the time say, “Well, the NFL Draft is a big deal, Greg.” Well, OK, let’s play a game. Let’s see the ratings for the NFL Draft if you air it Sunday, Week 4 of the regular season of the NFL and it airs at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Let’s see the ratings if that was the case. No. No one would watch. You’ve got markets, the loyal fan bases and they’re watching their teams play. And when you air nine games on the night of the draft, that’s 18 TV markets that have loyal fan bases, and you understand why they’re watching their favorite team play instead. But I do think this network is going to enjoy an even larger audience when Major League Baseball recognizes this is something important. I think they already do, but there are scheduling conflicts everyone has to deal with. But I think in the next five years, you will see a day they leave that open, that schedule will not have a game and it will be the only baseball event of the night.