Triston McKenzie to make Major League debut Saturday vs. Detroit Tigers

The 23-year-old right-hander gets the call from Classic Park to make his first career start

Dan Menningen
August 20, 2020 - 5:46 pm

Photo credit Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians announced Triston McKenzie will make his major league debut on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers.

McKenzie, 23, was the 42nd overall pick in the 2015 draft. He worked his way up the minor leagues gaining attention along the way from scouts across baseball. In 2017, McKenzie won the Class A Carolina Pitcher of the Year award for the Lynchburg Hillcats, after posting a 3.46 ERA over 143 innings pitched, striking out 186 batters and walking 45 hitters over his 25 starts.

Injuries began to interrupt his development starting with forearm soreness, which cost him two months in 2018. 2019 was worse for McKenzie, as he missed the whole season with an upper back strain.

This season, McKenzie was added to the 40 man roster and invited, for the first time, to big league training camp. When Summer Camp started, McKenzie was sent to the secondary site at Classic Park in Eastlake and has been training with the staff there ever since.

According to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer, McKenzie has reached five innings in intrasquad games at Classic Park.

McKenzie is seen as being the ninth best prospect in the Cleveland Indians system, according to MLB Pipeline.

The 6-5 165 pound right-hander features three above average pitches, fastball, curveball and change-up. The fastball, which ranges from 91-95 MPH, looks faster out of his hand due to arm length, control and elite spin rate, according to MLB Pipeline. The curveball sits in the upper 70’s with a 12-6 drop to it. He likes to keep lefties honest with the change-up which fades to the 3rd base side, according to MLB Pipeline.

The Indians released a video in February of 2019 highlighting McKenzie’s 2018 start for Class AA Akron which highlights the movement on the curveball and the deception on the fastball due to his over the top delivery and size.


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