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Home » 2008 NewsJuly 2008 » Kelly Cashes In

Kelly Cashes In

News that the Red Sox signed first-round pick Casey Kelly broke just a few minutes ago. The two-way player was offered a scholarship to play quarterback at the University of Tennessee and would have gone there if the team that drafted him wanted him as a pitcher rather than shortstop.

The Red Sox were thin in the shortstop slot organizationally after moving Hanley Ramirez for Josh Beckett. First-round draftee from 2005 Jed Lowrie has come around since his lackluster sophomore year in Portland but it seems the Red Sox are not sure that he will break through. Kelly bolsters their talent pool in a scarce position.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus ranked him at 18 in his Top 50 Talents (subscription required). An excerpt of Goldstein’s write-up:

18. Casey Kelly, RHP/SS, Sarasota HS (FL)
What He Is: The son of former big leaguer Pat is an excellent two-way athlete with good bloodlines.
What He’s Not: An especially adept hitter, other than the power.
In A Perfect World He Becomes: A big power right-hander.
Backup Plan: Even as a shortstop, he’s a first-round talent because his kind of power is rare for the position and he’s a top-flight defender

I will just have to get over my bias against people with two first names, but it does help that his name has cutesy alliteration.

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