Chicago Cubs: Who is this hard-throwing right-hander?
McAvene starred for three seasons with the Cardinals, initially recruited out of high school as a starter. Unfortunately, the injury bug struck McAvene hard as he underwent Tommy John surgery during his freshman year, causing him to be sidelined part of the 2017-18 season.
Prior to the surgery that year, McAvene made five starts pitching to a modest 4.15 ERA. He was impressive regarding his strikeouts, posting a crazy good 13.5 K/9 in that span. Following his surgery, the team decided to move him to the bullpen. In 2018, McAvene appeared in 11 games, pitching to a less impressive 5.23 ERA however still carrying a ridiculous 13.06 K/9 rate.
His final year at Louisville, McAvene found his stride. He appeared in a career-high 23 games, finishing off 33 innings with a 2.73 ERA and seven saves as the team’s closing pitcher. Fans may remember a moment last year during the Regionals of the College World Series where McAvene was tossed for arguing balls and strikes. He is a passionate player who will hopefully bring that to the Windy City one day.