Another outfielder? Really? Believe it or not, the Orioles have a nice outfielder brewing in their system, who is just about ready to see some major league time in 2021. This kid is named Ryan McKenna, and he’s up next on The Baltimore Battery’s Prospect Profiles series!
2020 rank: #13 – 2021 rank: #22
Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 Power: 40 Run: 60 Arm: 50 Field: 55 Overall: 45
Mckenna dropped 10 spots in this year’s ranking due to a lot more depth in the high ranking levels of our minor league system. Four of the players now above him were either not in the organization before last years ranking or were yet to be drafted.
A longer tenured minor leaguer in our system, McKenna was drafted in the 2015 draft out of high school. Spending most of his time in Double-A since 2018, McKenna hasn’t blown anybody away per se, but he is fundamentally above average in all aspects of his game, something very promising when looking at prospects.
In his minor league career, including time in the Arizona Fall League, McKenna holds a slash line of .267/.355/.394 and a .749 OPS. 2019 was a down year for McKenna, who still hit 26 doubles, with his 121 strikeouts still being his main flaw. 2018 was a breakout year for McKenna, when an electric first half had him sent up to Bowie, where he played for the rest of that season and all of 2019.
Due to the lack of minor leagues in 2020, McKenna was robbed of an opportunity to play at Triple-A Norfolk, which is where he will most likely see the majority of his time in 2021.
McKenna is part of a stacked outfield group from the major league level, all the way to the minors, but shows promise, as he can excel at all three outfield positions. He is a very quick runner with a good glove, who can be a big part of the outfield in center or right, considering we can say Ryan Mountcastle will probably be owning left field for a while.
McKenna brings speed onto the base paths that no one else on the major league squad offers, besides Cedric Mullins and, maybe, Austin Hays. McKenna still needs to access some more power and consistency at the plate before he becomes a threat at the major league level. Seeing time at Triple-A this season before being called up, I believe, will do McKenna a lot of good.
With Austin Hays being shaky to start his career and a lot of inconsistency coming from Cedric Mullins, it is quite possible we see the speedy McKenna making a few appearances in center field this season.
What are your thoughts on the O’s No. 22 ranked prospect? Let us know in the comments, and follow The Baltimore Battery on the web and on Facebook and Twitter for more O’s content!