Keaton McKinney

What is the latest on Keaton McKinney? I haven’t seen any updates.

According to the latest from DVH, McKinney is in the best shape of his life. The radar has his fastball at 92-93 mph which is much better than what he threw in his great freshman year.

McKinney is going to pitch this year, but he probably will be brought along a little slower throughout the first few weeks. His velocity hit 93 this week. He is going to be a part of the pitching plans, perhaps a midweek starter.

McKinney told me today that he’s stronger than ever. He said he’s got a curve ball for the first time in four years. He said he was given a new grip by pitching coach Wes Johnson about 15 months ago and it was instantly a good curve ball. Of course, he hurt his arm and didn’t pitch with it last year. He said three pitches makes him much, much more effective. He was 50-50 between his fast ball and his change-up as a true freshman. But that was with a fast ball around 85. Now he’s consistently at 90-91, he said this morning, with bumps up to 92. And, he thinks he’s about 85 percent as far as arm strength coming back from Tommy John. He said, “I think there is a lot more (velocity) in the tank. I’m healthy and it feels so good to pitch.”

He said he’s now finally got an out pitch with that curve ball, a swing and miss pitch. And, with increased velocity on the fast ball, the change-up is even more effective. Look out for Keaton this season.

Clay, thanks for the update. Mckinney deserves to have a good year after all he has been through. GHG!

I am so glad that McKinney is back and feeling healthy. If a kid ever deserved it, he does. I remember a couple of years ago having a guy at my table ask a question of Coach for me at a Swatter’s Club Luncheon (I had no voice because of an illness). The question was, “Coach has McKinney developed a curve yet”. I can’t remember the exact reply but it was something like, “He has a curve he just doesn’t trust it”.

This could be an awesome year. Best wishes to Keaton!