Ex-Bengal McCoy Off to Royals Minor League Camp
Former Barnegat High School pitcher Mark McCoy recently reported to the Kansas City Royals spring training minor league camp in Surprise, Ariz., to begin his second full season with the organization.
The Royals selected the left-hander in the 29th round of the June 2015 amateur draft following his junior year at Rutgers University. Most of that season was spent in the Royals Rookie League team in Burlington, N.C., where he had a 2.48 ERA in 13 games. In 29 innings, he struck out 29 batters.
The lefty reliever began last season with the Class A Wilmington (Delaware) Blue Sox, but struggled there and was moved to another Class A team in Lexington, Ky.
With Lexington, the 22-year-old sported a 4-2 record, with a 4.86 ERA in 24 games. In 50 innings, McCoy recorded 46 strikeouts.
“I went through some ups and downs, like a lot of players in the minors do,” said McCoy, who attended Monday night’s Barnegat girls basketball state playoff game to support his sister Shannon, a member of the team. “When I get to Arizona, I’ll be competing with a lot of other players for spots on their minor league teams. I’d like to begin the season in Double A, since that’s a step up from Single A, where I was last season.”
In the off-season, he took part in the Royals fall instructional camp and after coming back home was working out regularly at E.S.S.A Soorts Performance in Tinton Falls.
“I’m coming into camp in good shape,” said McCoy. “All I can do is go out there and do my best.”
His father, Barnegat varsity baseball coach Dan McCoy, said his son’s fast ball is usually clocked between 91 and 93 mph.
“The key for him is to get batters out consistently with the fastball, because that will make his curve and off-speed pitch more effective,” said McCoy. “I hope he can begin the season at Double A, but no matter where he is, I think it is very important for him to get off to a good start. Last year, he struggled in the beginning and ended up in a lower end Class A team.”
McCoy said while his son was a starter in high school and college, he’s comfortable with coming out of the bullpen.
“In today’s game, relievers are much more important than they used to be,” he said. “Teams are often in the market for lefty specialists, which is good for Mark. Now he has to go out there and produce.”
— Eric Englund