Westview HS, Oregon
@throwheat17 (Protected account, smart kid)
Weight: 200 lbs
Jeff’s Quick Take: First and foremost, Kelly is only 17 and doesn’t turn 18 until next month, so if anyone has seen Rany Jazayerli’s work on high school draftees, it has shown that drafting younger high school kids yields better results. We know the Cardinals have been putting this plan in action for several years and Kelly is an example of a young player who will require a big contract to sign away from Oregon. Kelly is exactly the type of young third basemen with power potential the Cardinals should be drafting. Scouting reports with videos after the jump.
MLB Scouting Report:
The top 2012 prospect from the Pacific Northwest, scouts will take a look at Kelly both as a pitcher and as a third baseman. While initially it seem led like his arm might be of more interest, it became apparent as the Draft approached that most liked his potential as a position player better. The arm that reaches 92 mph on the mound works very well from third base and he’s steady all-around as a defender. But it’s his bat that has teams eyeing him. He is strong, with a good approach at the plate and the kind of raw power teams like to see from the corner infield position. Kelly has the option to head to the University of Oregon and perhaps continue to be a two-way player, so it will be interesting to see if he goes high enough in the Draft to focus on just one craft at the professional level.
Kelly, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound third baseman and pitcher, is one of the draft’s top two-way talents and Northwest scouts are divided on where he fits best. As a hitter, Kelly shows a nice line-drive swing with good loft and power potential. He’s a below-average runner, but has good mobility at third base with quick actions and a strong arm. On the mound, he sits in the 89-91 mph range with a heavy fastball. His secondary stuff needs to be tightened up, including a 78-82 mph changeup and a 73-76 curveball. Kelly has excellent maturity and will be a leader on and off the field. He is young for the class and won’t turn 18 until the day after the signing deadline.
“We saw a lot of him this summer” an AL-scout said. “Each time we saw him we were impressed with the bat speed and swing mechanics, and the ball just seems to jump off the barrel. We think he can be a plus-fielder at third base as well, he’s certainly got the arm and lateral quickness to play there”
It’s not just with the bat or in the field that Kelly has excited scouts, either. “He’s a pretty exciting two-way player” an NL-Crosschecker told ESPNHS. “We’ve had him at 88-92, with a 74-77 mph curveball, pitches inside well and he gets people out.”
Kelly is a prospect at the plate and on the mound, sitting in the upper 80′s and topping out at 92 mph with the fastball. The majority of area scouts appear to prefer him as a bat, where his swing is easy, consistent and should produce natural power. He can handle third base and could end up a candidate for left or right field if necessary. He’s known to carry himself as a leader and brings plus makeup to the table. He’ll head to the University of Oregon if the price isn’t right on the professional front, but he could go in the Top 100.
However, his fastball is consistently 91-92 mph and he has clocked 97 in practice. Toss in a 73 mph changeup, an upper 70s curve and pinpoint control, a pitching career is certainly not out of the question.
If Kelly had his preference, he’d hit. However, he is equally successful on the mound or in the field, regardless of the stage.
Here’s the MLB.com scouting video:
Here’s his Baseball Factory TV video of hitting, pitching, fielding:
Baseball America’s scouting video: