Seven starts, four home runs, and a .656 Slugging percentage to lead the team—you could make the argument that John McMillon has locked down the starting DH gig.
Hailing from Jasper, Texas, McMillon was a 21st-round selection by the Tampa Bay Rays. He turned down a reported $700k to become a Red Raider. For those unaware of how the MLB “slot-money” system works. That’s third-round pay, despite the late draft position. Generally speaking, 18-year-olds do not turn down the opportunity to make that kind of cash without a belief they can get better.
This leads us to the question of, what exactly is his ceiling? McMillon carries a big bat, but he also is the team’s closer. His blistering 95 mph fastball has him tied for the team lead with 3 saves, and he’s averaging 1.5 strikeouts per inning. Notably, he shut the door on the Longhorns in Austin a few weeks ago.
The most logical comparison for him is likely Luken Baker. The TCU sophomore hit .300+ and was a team leader on the mound. McMillon currently hasn’t hit for average equal to Baker, but it’s not hard to see that his raw power is special. Just this week, we saw this bomb.
McMillon getting at-bats could pay major dividends for this Red Raider team as they make a run for Omaha. Despite a strong lineup from top to bottom, a major power bat has been lacking since the departure of Stephen Smith, Tyler Neslony, and Eric Gutierrez.
I guess the answer to the headline is, there isn’t a ceiling. The Red Raiders haven’t had a specimen of this sort, to my knowledge, in the history of the program. I guess at this point we can all enjoy the ride.