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Thursday, March 26, 2009

BRAVES PROSPECT BUSTS: The Closer Of The Future?

1999: RHP Kevin McGlinchy

(#47 in Baseball America's Top 100, #4 Atlanta Braves Prospect)

Kevin McGlinchy was a hard-throwing right-hander drafted out of Malden (Mass.) High School in 1995.

He spent his first three seasons as a starter, spending most of 1996 with Rookie level Danville (13 G, 3-2, 1.12 ERA, 77/11 K/BB) and two games with the Eugene Emeralds. The next season was rather bizzare, he started 26 games and his record was only 3-7. His ERA was 4.89 and he had a 149/44 K/BB ratio in 140 innings.

He was promoted to the high Class A Danville 97s for 1998 and finished with a 9-8 record in 22 games for them (142 IP, 129/29 K/BB, 2.92 ERA, 1.063 WHIP). He ended the year with the Greenville Braves, starting six games for them (1-1, 5.18 ERA, 20/15 K/BB).

From the 1999 edition of Baseball Prospectus:

McGlinchy is nine days younger than [Bruce] Chen and about that far behind him as a pitcher. A clssic power pitcher, [McGlinchy] made big strides from 1997 and could emerge this year. The Braves are asking him to work as a reliever in winter ball, a move they're hinting could be for good. Given that the one thing the major league staff is missing is a couple of hard-throwing right-handed relievers (Who can throw strikes, Mr. Wohlers), it's a good idea for both McGlinchy and the organization.
That's exactly what the Braves did with him in 1999; they called him up to the big club, moved him to the bullpen and McGlinchy had an immediate impact. He won seven games in relief, pitching in 64 games. He logged 70 1/3 innings and turned in a 2.82 ERA with a 67/30 K/BB ratio and 1.365 WHIP.

McGlinchy may be remembered fondly by Mets fans, however; In Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS, after blowing the save in the bottom of the 15th with a bases-loaded walk to Todd Pratt, he gave up Robin Ventura's game-winning grand-slam. Ventura was only credited with a single because after the winning run scored, the whole Mets team mobbed him at first base.

McGlinchy also worked two scoreless innings in the World Series against the Yankees.

In 2000, McGlinchy pitched in ten major league games and 17 games in the minors. He missed most of the season with shoulder tendinitis. It turns out those ten games are the last games that he'd ever pitch in the major leagues.

The last games that McGlinchy pitched in the Braves organization were two rehab games with the Gulf Coast Braves in 2001.

HE WAS LAST SEEN: pitching in the Cubs organization in 2004. He pitched nine games with the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (0-1, 8 1/3 IP, 4.32 ERA, 1.93 WHIP) and 18 with the Iowa Cubs (0-1, 29 1/3 IP, 5.52 ERA, 1.47 WHIP).

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