A few days ago Billy McKinney, the Double A outfielder who ranked number three on the latest Top 40 and is in the Top 100 for MLB Pipeline, fouled a pitch off his knee. He went to Chicago to visit some doctors, and the verdict is in: hairline fracture. Minor league season over.
McKinney, 20, was a possible option for the prospect heavy Arizona Fall League after the season, but I think this injury may put an end to that as well. If he recovers very quickly it could still be in play, but I doubt the Cubs rush things to make it happen. He will no doubt head to the Cubs’ facility in Arizona to continue working out and rehabbing, but his 2015 baseball season is likely finished.
He had a good season. He opened the year in Myrtle Beach, hit .340/.432/.544 over 29 games and got his ticket to Tennessee. In 77 games with the Smokies (308 plate appearances) he hit .285/.346/.420 with a walk rate of 8.8% and a strikeout rate of 15.3%. His 26 doubles rank 6th in the league (min 300 PA), and his ISO ranked 19th. He was also one of the youngest players in Double A.
Since he will be coming off an injury, I would not be surprised to see McKinney open 2016 in Tennessee for a month or so, but his promotion to Iowa should be fairly swift. Once there he could, should the need arise, be an option in the Chicago outfield, or he could remain in Iowa all season. I think that depends as much on the health of the major league roster as it does on McKinney’s performance.