Born in Shelton, Connecticut, Trey McLoughlin attended the eponymously named high school in his hometown. Ater graduating, he attended Fairfield University about a half-hour down I-95. In his freshman season, the right-hander posted a 5.60 ERA in 45.0 innings, allowing 53 hits, walking 22, and striking out 22. He supplemented his time on the mound after the season ended by playing with the Danbury Westerners of the New England Collegiate League that summer, and then returned to Fairfield in 2019 for his sophomore season. He showed only marginal improvements in some areas but showed great growth in others, posting a 5.59 ERA in 75.2 innings, allowing 80 hits, walking 27, and striking out 82, earning him Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team honors.
He returned to the New England Collegiate League in the summer of 2019 once again, playing this time for the Mystic Schooners instead of the Danbury Westerners and the 20-year-old ended up an all-star, one of the best pitchers in the league with a top-five ERA and strikeout total. He returned to the Stags now firmly entrenched as their number one starter but had little time to showcase the steps forward that he took that summer as a pitcher, as COVID-19 limited his time on the mound in 2020 to just 15.2 innings over 3 starts and a bout of shoulder bursitis that took over a month to finally clear up limited his time on the mound in 2021 to just 23.2 innings over 5 starts. His return to Faifield in May came at a fortuitous time for the Stags, as he was able to pitch a strong game against Canisius College right before the NCAA Championship Tournament, and then against Arizona State in what would be his final game with the team.
All in all, over the course of his four-year career at Fairfield, the right-hander posted a cumulative 5.40 ERA in 160.0 innings, allowing 170 hits, walking 63, and striking out 163; his 9.1 K/9 rate a program record. A week after Fairfield was bumped out of the tournament, he began playing for Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod League, making a pair of starts prior to the 2021 MLB Draft in an attempt to create some positive buzz around himself following a senior season that saw him pitch minimal innings.
McLoughlin has a solid pitching frame, standing 6’2” and weighing 210-pounds. He throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot and features simple mechanics that include a high leg lift and a long arm action through the back. While he is not all arm strength, there is some effort in his delivery. His command of his pitches earlier in his career was below-average, but he made strides in that regard following his successful summer in Mystic.
The right-hander is mainly a two-pitch pitcher, throwing a fastball and a slider. He occasionally throws a changeup but keeps the offering in his back pocket and often goes through multiple starts without utilizing it during in-game situations. Both of his main pitches are average offerings, and he heavily relies on his fastball, by some game accounts throwing it as much as 90% of the time. The pitch generally sits in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out around 93 MPH, though when he tires the pitch can back up into the upper-80s and features running life. His slider features more vertical drop than horizontal movement.