Brendan McKay: Stone Crabs’ two-way player

When asked if there was a player in the past that he looked up to, or modeled his game after, Brendan McKay said, “Babe Ruth.”

Comparing yourself to the Babe is a bold statement by the Stone Crabs rookie, Brendan McKay.

But then again, as both a pitcher and a position player, he’s a bold guy.

“What he’s trying to do is very very tough,” Stone Crabs Pitching Coach Joe Szekely said.  “My hat is off to him because he could pick one and go and be done with it but his desire is to see if he can do both.”

But playing on both sides of the ball like Brendan does raise eyebrows, just not his.

“Even through college it was normal to me,” McKay said. “I enjoy being on both sides of the ball. Just being on the field and being able to compete is fun to me.”

To understand how difficult it is to be what’s called a two-way player, consider this: McKay is the only guy in the Minors being developed as a pitcher and a hitter.

It takes a village of patient coaches to develop a two-way player.

“I may be more self-aware of his effort when he’s pitching,” said Steve “Doc” Watson, the Stone Crabs’ hitting coach.

Szekely says it’s a lot of trial and error.

“I think there’s times when we would like to have him a little bit longer but we understand the situation.”

Watson says the two-way playing can be taking on the legs, but McKay is okay with that. Unicorn or not, like every ballplayer he just wants to make it to the show.

“If there’s a way you can get there quicker, I think anybody would take that chance to be on a Big League roster.”

Reporter:Andrew Keesee