Keaton McKinney

I’m getting my first look at Keaton McKinney today. The first inning of the scrimmage did not go well for him. He allowed seven base runners and six runs, including a grand slam by Chad Spanberger that was the second hardest hit I’ve ever seen in this ballpark. The ball hit off the scoreboard, just below the “M” on top of the video scoreboard. It would have landed in the pond if not for the scoreboard.

It looks like McKinney is still struggling with his command. He elevated a lot of pitches during that long inning and the hitters did a good job of taking advantage.

OK Matt, what was the hardest hit ball now that you bring it up? Was it pre BBCOR bats?

I think the disappointing outing by McKinney is offset by the performance so far of Spanberger. Both were question marks that we need to perform. Chad has had a very good summer and fall.

Way before BBCOR. I don’t remember what year - maybe '06 or '07 - but I seem to recall it being a Sunday vs. Tennessee. Danny Hamblin got ahold of one and crushed it to center field.

Spanberger ended up hitting two home runs yesterday, including one on the final pitch of the scrimmage. He has hit at least four this fall, including a couple off of off-speed pitches.

Tony Vitello told me that Spanberger’s struggles aren’t uncommon for a player from the Midwest. They don’t play as many games or see as good of pitchers as players in the South and Southwest. It appears the game is slowing down for Spanberger. Vitello compared it to a running back learning to wait for his lane to open.

I for one Matt, really appreciate the baseball updates :sunglasses:

Thank you. I plan to roll out several baseball stories in the next couple of weeks.

Looking forward to it, Matt.

I watched practice Wednesday. The player who jumped out at me was Dominic Fletcher. He should be the center fielder. He has speed with his feet and seems to have quick hands with the bat. He’s a lefty hitter who can spray the ball and has some pop, too. He’s going to be a good one. I did talk to someone who is very high on Wes Johnson and what he’s doing with the pitchers. Velocity is up across the board. The pitchers look bigger to me. I mean strength wise. Bigger in the legs.