The 2021 MLB draft is scheduled to take place during the All-Star break in July. Between now and then we will be profiling several players who the Yankees may be considering. Predicting who a team will draft is a crapshoot, so hopefully if we profile enough players we’ll profile the one the Yankees take with their first round pick. Today’s profile: Michael McGreevy.
McGreevy is a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher who went undrafted out of high school and currently pitches for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (an all-time great sports team name), which is also reigning AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber’s alma mater.
McGreevy initially pitched out of the bullpen in 2019, logging 60.1 innings in 29 appearances with a 1.94 ERA, which earned him Freshman All-American honors. He moved to the rotation for the 2020 season and was off to a great start with a 0.99 ERA in 27.1 innings with nearly a 4:1 K/BB ratio. Unfortunately, COVID shut his season down after just those 4 starts.
McGreevy has burst on the scene this year. In 13 starts he has a 2.84 ERA with an incredible 100/8 K/BB ratio. He is also averaging over 6 IP/S. Here’s some video:
All the outlets agree that McGreevy is rising up draft boards with his impressive performance and improving stuff. MLB Pipeline ranks him the 20th best prospect in the draft and has the following to say:
“The 6-foot-4 McGreevy has always thrown a lot of strikes, walking just over two batters per nine innings in 2019-2020 combined. That continued this year, and he became even more interesting with harder and sharper stuff. His fastball is now up to 96 mph consistently, sitting around 93 mph and thrown with good sinking movement. He has two distinct breaking pitches, with his solid slider a touch ahead of his developing curveball. He knows how to mix in an average changeup as well.”
Baseball America ranks McGreevy 34th overall and also cited his improved fastball velocity saying it now sits in the low-mid 90’s touching 97. They highlight his slider as a primary secondary pitch which lines up with the MLB Pipeline report as well.
Keith Law of The Athletic has McGreevy as the 40th overall prospect in this draft with mention of him as a command right-hander.
In their most recent mock draft, MLB Pipeline has McGreevy going 20th overall to the Yankees, and they grade each of his pitches at 50 or higher and a command grade of 60 which is awesome for a draft-eligible prospect.
Does he make sense?
Absolutely. McGreevy has an ideal pitcher’s build with his 6’4”, 215-lb frame which combined with his impeccable control sound like he has what it takes to remain a starting pitcher. Pitchers with a 12:1 K:BB ratio are rare – for reference only Gerrit Cole and Zach Eflin have reached those height this season among qualified starters.
A starter’s frame with command plus two solid pitches already (fastball and slider) with the potential for two more (curve and changeup) is exactly what you look for in a pitching prospect. In many ways, McGreevy sounds like a safe pick, yet with the reports of his increased velocity and improving slider there may be even more untapped upside the Yankees could unlock.
Although the Yankees system is heavy on right-handed pitching, you don’t draft for need in the MLB draft. The hit rate on prospects, especially pitching prospects, is so low that you should always take the best player available in the early rounds of the draft.
With his recent rise up the draft boards (MLB and BA both had McGreevy outside their top 30 last week before moving him in this week), it is possible McGreevy could get selected before the Yankees pick at 20th overall. But if he’s still available, he’s a player I would be intrigued to follow.