The New York Mets took shortstop Reese Havens with the 22d pick and Jason Castro was a surprising pick by the Houston Astros at No. 10, so the Boston Red Sox had to look elsewhere for who they wanted. They found their guy in shortstop Casey Kelly, a shortstop and right handed pitcher from Sarasota High. He has good movement and control of his pitches but doesn’t crack the 90s with his fastball, but that could come with development.
He is 6’4″ and weighs 190 lbs. He is the son of Pat Kelly, a former New York Yankees infielder from 1991-1999. Keith Law of ESPN had Kelly ranked the 17th best prospect and projects him as an everyday player at the top of the order. As Law says:
He has a deep load, almost barring out front, but has good bat speed and his swing looks almost effortless, which is true of a lot of what Kelly does on the field. He doesn’t show much power at present, but that should come into more as he fills out. Aside from hard stuff in on his hands, Kelly has good plate coverage. At shortstop, he has very soft hands, a plus arm and makes the transfer from glove to hand extremely easily; he could outgrow the position, but otherwise has the ability to stay there and be an above-average defender.
Profile from MiLB.com:
Hitting Ability: The biggest concern surrounding Kelly is whether the bat will play. It looked like he had made some strides early this season.
Power: The hope is that he’ll grow into power. He has the chance to be a phsyical kid.
Running Speed: Kelly is an average runner, perhaps a tick better going around turns.
Base Running: Kelly has very good instincts on the basepaths.
Arm Strength: Also a pitcher and quarterback, Kelly has plus arm strength.
Fielding: Very graceful for his size, there’s nothing that says Kelly can’t play shortstop at the next level.
Range: He has good range, especially for a bigger middle infielder.
Physical Description: Kelly is a big, physical shortstop who’s gained 15-20 pounds since last summer.
Medical Update: He missed about a month of the football season with a staph infection, but is fine now.
Strengths: Kelly is a tremendous athlete who can do a lot of things well on the field. As the son of former big leaguer Pat Kelly, he grew up around the game, so he plays it the right way.
Weaknesses: It’s all a question of whether he’ll hit. If he can, he could develop into an exciting, athletic Major League shortstop.
Solid pick for the Red Sox. They needed depth at shortstop. One may argue they have plenty with Jed Lowrie and Oscar Tejeda in the minors, but I’m still pleased with the pick.