Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rays 8th Round Pick - 251st Overall: Merrill Kelly

BaseballAmerica:(#10 in Arizona)
Righthander Merril Kelly gets results, but does it with a lot of funk and deception. He sinks an average fastball that touches 92 mph, and he throws it for strikes. But he's rigid with an "iron Mike" delivery, and as one scout put it, "You just don't see guys pitch like that in the big leagues." Kelly mixes in a breaking ball, but it's his above-average changeup that is his second-best pitch. Because of his mechanical issues, he profiles better as a reliever in pro ball.

Andy Seiler:
Merrill Kelly is a solid right-handed starting pitcher from Arizona State University. Kelly originally
attended Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he was a year behind fellow Draft Notebook prospect and current UNLV player Drew Beuerlein. Kelly was a solid prospect in high school, and he was scouted as an interesting arm, but he fell to the Orioles in the thirty seventh round of the 2007 draft because of his lack of plus size and strength. He didn’t sign, and he headed for Yavapai Junior College in Arizona. He had a solid two-year career there, including an incredible sophomore year where he absolutely dominated competition. In fact, he dominated to such a degree that he was selected in the twenty second round by the Indians a year ago. He didn’t sign, choosing Arizona State over them, and he’s turned in a solid junior season as a Saturday starter. He has the stuff of a possible fifth starter or swing man, and even though that’s not as attractive as some flashier arms, his pitch mix is solid enough to envision him fulfilling his potential. His fastball is an average pitch, sitting 88-90 and touching 92, and he spots it well with above-average command. He complements his fastball with an average curveball and above-average to plus changeup. His fastball-changeup combo is one of the best in the college class, and that alone could make him a successful pitcher at the Major League level. With limited upside, he’s most likely a seventh to tenth round draft pick, and unlike the previous two times he was drafted, he’s likely to accept the opportunity to sign.

Slot guy.

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