University of Louisville star two-way player Brendan McKay received a record-setting signing bonus of $7,007,500 after inking a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.
McKay, the fourth overall pick of the last MLB draft, surpassed the $7 million bonus acquired by Atlanta Braves first-round pick Kyle Wright last year.
“It feels pretty awesome to know that you get to continue playing the game you love,” said McKay to ESPN. “Getting paid to do it is pretty fun as well. It’s pretty neat to hold the record. But at some point it’s going to be broken, so it’s not that big a deal to me.”
The 21-year-old, who played both pitcher and first base in college, is one of the most decorated collegiate players ever, winning the John Olerud Award thrice and lifted the Dick Howser Trophy last year. He was also named as Baseball America’s and Collegiate Baseball’s Player of the Year this year.
McKay starred on both home base and mound in his junior year in Louisville, averaging .341 while smashing 18 homers and driving home 57 runs-batted-in and winning 11 games with a 2.56 ERA.
The Rays reportedly want to use him as both a hitter and a pitcher but will primarily utilize his skills with the bat.
McKay is only one of two top prospects who can hit and pitch along with Hunter Greene, who was picked second overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the same draft.
Greene, who is fresh from his senior year at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, hit .324 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 30 games and was 3-0 in 5 starts with a 0.75 ERA.