Tyler McKay, a right-handed pitcher, is currently in his second season as a full-time relief pitcher and the numbers have only gotten better for him as of late. The Phillies selected him in the 16th-round of the 2018 MLB Draft and he spent the first two-plus years in the organization as a starter who routinely looked lost on the mound.
Prior to the 2022 season, the club made the decision to move the 6-foot-6 hurler to the bullpen. Last year, the numbers once again weren't there, but there was steady improvements. In 40 outings and 60.2 innings of work, he had a 5.19 ERA, but saw his strikeout rate increase and walk rate decrease.
Here we are in 2023 and McKay is once again finding incremental ways to improve his game, and may now be doing enough to warrant a promotion to Triple-A soon. In 25 outings this year, the Missouri native has a sparkling 2.54 ERA in 28.1 innings of work with 32 strikeouts and just 10 walks on the season. His 10.2 K/9 rate is easily the highest of his professional career and his 6.0 H/9 is almost four hits lower than last year's numbers.
Again, the improvements have been gradual for McKay, and at 25-years-old he's due to get out of Double-A any day now, but the latest results have been encouraging and it's easy to see that his best path to the big leagues is in the bullpen.