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Baseball: Blackhawk's McKay dominant on the mound to begin pro career

Written by Brad Everett on .

Pitcher or hitter?

That's been the million-dollar question surrounding the future of Brendan McKay, who has been a star on the mound and at the plate going back to his days at Blackhawk High School.

Although it's a small sample size, the early returns since beginning his professional career show that pitching could perhaps become McKay's main focus.

McKay, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays with the fourth overall pick in this year's MLB draft, has played both pitcher and first base since beginning his pro career with the Hudson Valley Renegades last month. He's also been the designated hitter for a few games.

McKay has sparkled on the mound in two starts with limited pitch counts. He pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and one walk in his first start. He then had more success in his second start Sunday, allowing one hit and two walks to go along with three strikeouts in three innings. So, in five innings of work, McKay has not given up a run, has allowed only one hit and three walks, and has seven strikeouts.

The excellent work on the mound has not carried over to the plate in the early going. McKay is batting .200 with two home runs and seven RBIs. He has struck out 20 times in 55 at-bats.

As a junior this spring at Louisville, McKay won the Golden Spikes Award, which is given out to the nation's top amateur player. He also won the John Olerud Award for the third year in a row. That award is presented to the country's top two-way player.