Analyzing Billy McKinney's Impact on the Chicago Cubs' Future

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIJuly 5, 2014

Oakland Athletics’ first-round draft pick Billy McKinney takes practice swings during batting practice prior to the baseball game with the Seattle Mariners Friday, June 14, 2013, in Oakland, Calif.  McKinney, an outfielder from Plano West High School in Plano, Texas, was the 24th selection in the first round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft June 6. McKinney batted .372 with four home runs and 17 RBI as a senior for Plano West.  He added 36 walks and was hit by a pitch eight times for a .585 on-base percentage.  The left-handed hitter struck out just six times and stole seven bases in eight attempts.  (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

It looks like the Chicago Cubs are loading up for the future.

On Friday night, it was announced the team parted ways with some valuable trade chips when it sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for Addison Russell, Dan Straily and Billy McKinney.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report the trade:

So, with the future now looking a little brighter for the Cubs, how exactly will the addition of McKinney impact the team?

At just 19 years of age, McKinney was selected in the first round of last year's draft by the A's at No. 24 overall out of Plano West High School.

Listed at 6'1" and 195 pounds, McKinney doesn't have as much power as you'd expect, but his mechanics alone make his upside tremendous.

He has a compact swing which is highly repetitive, leading to a two-year minor league batting average of .282. During that span, he appeared in 139 games and accumulated 152 hits, 23 doubles, six triples, 14 home runs and 65 RBI, according to The Baseball Cube.

Here's a great look at his consistently smooth swing:

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One surprising stat regarding McKinney is his 14 stolen bases in the minors. You'd expect more from a center fielder due to the typical speed of players at the position.

McKinney certainly isn't a burner, and he won't tear it up as a baserunner, but that doesn't mean he is without useful speed.

In the outfield, he shows off some nice instincts and gets a good jump on the ball, reading the flight path correctly and getting himself into good position.

Take a glance at his pro-player comparison from the 2013 draft:

McKinney may not stick at center field with the Cubs in the long run, but he does have enough arm strength to possibly play either left field or first base as well.

His instincts on defense and consistency at the plate will certainly allow McKinney to become a big part of the Cubs' future plans in one way or another. He still needs some time to develop, but he has the ability to be a solid starter roughly three or four years down the road.

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