McKinney, 22, is hitting .336/.373/.657 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 37 games since being promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. McKinney hasn't had his number called yet despite an injury to Clint Frazier, though McKinney could emerge as a September call-up when rosters expand. He has already set a career high with 16 home runs overall in 2017, though his left-handed swing could be tailor-made for the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium. McKinney has a similar build and skill set to Brett Gardner.
McKinney was reassigned to minor league camp Friday, Brendan Kuty of The Star-Ledger reports. The former Cubs farmhand could still eventually become a major league starter but suddenly looks a bit lost in the shuffle as part of a stacked group of Yankees outfield prospects. He'll look to rediscover his groove over the course of the season following a .417/.517/.917 spring that included three home runs and seven RBI in 29 plate appearances. McKinney probably will begin that quest at Double-A Trenton.
McKinney served as a pinch-runner and played right field in his return from illness Wednesday, going 0-for-1 in his only at-bat. The Yankees eased McKinney back after he missed a few days with an illness. The 22-year-old is impressing this spring, slashing .429/.529/1.000 in 11 at-bats, although he is still slated to start the year at Double-A.
McKinney missed the team's last spring training game after coming down with the flu, the New York Post reports. It sounds like the bug might be making its way around the team, as pitcher Luis Cessa was also scratched with the flu. McKinney was part of the return from the Cubs when the Yankees dealt Aroldis Chapman last July, and the 22-year-old is expected to begin the year back with the Double-A squad.
McKinney received an invite to spring training as a non-roster invitee on Sunday. McKinney spent the second half of his 2016 season with Double-A Tennessee, slashing .234/.310/.375 over 143 plate appearances after being traded from the Cubs to the Yankees. Despite his spring training invite, the 22-year-old is expected to open the season in Double-A again.
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