Blue Jays: Billy The Kid gunslinging for playing time in 2019
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Billy McKinney has been nothing short of impressive since being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo as the rookie continues to plead his case for 2019.
Billy “The Kid” McKinney is only 24-years old yet the budding Blue Jays outfielder has already been traded by the Athletics, Cubs, and Yankees in his young professional career. The Jays landed McKinney as part of the J.A. Happ package from New York at the trade deadline.
Initially, the return of Brandon Drury and McKinney for Happ was thought to be mediocre at best, however, the young outfielder has made the most of his short time north of the border while already creeping into the conversation for a roster spot in 2019.
McKinney was slotted into the leadoff spot yesterday and he did not disappoint hitting a clutch 2-run homer in the seventh inning versus the Phillies. The outfielder now has three round-trippers in his first seven games with his new team while hitting .350/.480/.800 including eight hits and nine runs batted in through his first 20 at-bats.
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The former first-round pick of Oakland has also impressed with the glove in the outfield while showing decent range. He definitely appears to be a defensive upgrade over Teoscar Hernandez who is currently struggling on both sides of the diamond.
McKinney is a hard-nosed, meat and potatoes, grinder type kid who plays the game the right way and just needed an opportunity for consistent at-bats at the big league level, he previously only had a cup of coffee in the majors earlier this season with the Yankees before ironically injuring himself in his second MLB game versus Toronto.
It obviously has been a small sample size thus far but this version of “Billy The Kid” appears poised and ready to gun sling his way into the Blue Jays opening day lineup in 2019.