Chiefs Chatter #2 – Catcher Carson Kelly

As February (and then Spring Training) approaches we are going to use this blog space to introduce you to potential 2014 Peoria Chiefs players. We do not have any inside information on our roster and nothing will be official until the end of March. But with spring training on the way it is time to get familiar with some faces and names that we could see on the diamond in Peoria this summer. Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at 2012 and 2013 draftees plus foreign born players who excelled in State College, Johnson City and GCL Cardinals in 2013 plus some possible players returning to Peoria.

To start with we are going to look at the three players who are ranked among the Cardinals top 10 prospects on various lists. Today’s blog is Carson Kelly, and if you missed the 1st entry meet Alex Reyes.

First off, about 12 minutes of audio from an interview I did with Carson Wednesday.

Carson Kelly C Ht: 6’2 Wt: 200 Bats: Right Throws: Right
DOB: July 14, 1994
Twitter: @carskelly
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Acquired: Drafted in 2nd Round (86th overall) in 2012 out of Westview High School  

Preseason/Offseason

  • Converted from third base to catcher during Fall Instructional League
  • Ranked by TheCardinalNation.com as the Cardinals #9 Prospect
  • Ranked by Baseball America as the Cardinals #10 prospect
  • Ranked by Baseball America as the #5 prospect in the New York Penn League.
  • Invited to Major League Spring Training as reported in mid-January

 2013 

  • Made his season debut with the Chiefs on April 20
  • Played in 43 games at third base and DH batting .219 with two homers, six doubles, 18 runs scored and 13 RBI…Hit .242 in 27 May games with 10 RBI
  • First MWL home run was on May 17 against Clinton
  • Had back to back 2-RBI games on May 16 and 17
  • Five-game hit streak from May 25-29
  • Homered on June 7 against Clinton, his last hit with the Chiefs
  • Sent down to State College for the start of the New York-Penn League
  • Drove in runs in each of his first two games with State College
  • Overall hit .277 for the Spikes with four homers, 16 doubles, 35 runs scored and 32 RBI
  • Drew 20 walks to just 32 strikeouts with State College with a .340 OBP
  • Finished fourth in the NYPL in at-bats and second in lowest K/PA ratio
  • Consistently hit .278 against LHP and .276 against RHP
  • After a slow start he hit .317 in July with 14 RBI in 26 games
  • Hit .258 at home…Drove in three runs with a homer on June 22 and again on August 6
  • Had three straight multi-hit games July 17-19 as part of a seven-game hit streak July 15-22 that moved his average from .224 to .298…Collected four hits on August 22
  • Had at least two hits in five straight games August 21-25 going 13-for-22 in that stretch
  • Homered in the NYPL playoffs and drove in five runs in six games
  • His home run came in game two of the first round series against Jamestown.

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2012

  • Made his pro debut on June 19 for the Johnson City Cardinals and was 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Batted .225 with nine homers, 10 doubles, 25 RBI and 24 runs scored in 56 games in the Appalachian League
  • After four hitless games to start his career, Kelly was 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI on June 24
  • Hit his first pro homer on July 7 and homered again the next day
  • Hit safely in nine straight games from June 29 to July 9
  • Collected three hits on June 30 against Burlington
  • Drove in three runs on July 14 against Kingston
  • Collected two RBI in back-to-back games on August 16 and 17
  • Hit .313 against lefties…Hit .279 in July with seven homers, five doubles and 13 RBI in 22 games
  • Hit .298 with runners in scoring position and was 2-for-5 with three RBI when the bases were loaded
  • Had the most home runs of any 2012 high school draftee

Pre-Pro career

  • Played at Westview High School in Portland, Oregon which also produced former Indians first round pick Trevor Crowe…
  • Played third base, shortstop and pitched in high school
  • Named Gatorade’s Oregon Player of the Year after both his junior and senior seasons
  • As a senior in 2012 he hit .398 with five home runs and 26 RBI while slugging .747 with a .514 OBP
  • He was also 6-3 with a 1.09 ERA while striking out 80 batters in 58 innings with just seven walks
  • Named the 2012 Brian T. Meehan Oregon Baseball Player of the Year
  • Hit 14 homers with 48 RBI in 32 games as a junior while also going 9-1 with a 1.72 ERA
  • In 2010 as a sophomore he hit .458 with three homers, seven doubles, two triples and 31 RBI
  • He helped USA Baseball’s 18U National Team to a Gold Medal at the 2011 Pan American Games while going 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 21 innings
  • Played in the 2011 Area Code Games and 2011 Perfect Game National Showcase
  • Ranked by MLB.com as the top prospect from the Pacific Northwest before the draft
  • Signed a National Letter of Intent in November 2011 to play baseball at the University of Oregon
  • Was the first Oregon high school player to be drafted in the first three rounds since 1998…

Professional Career Highs
Hits: 3, June 30 vs. Burlington
Runs: 3, May 31 at Wisconsin
Home Runs: 1, many times, last August 27 vs. Danville
RBI: 3, July 14 vs. Kingston
Doubles: 1, many times, August 22 vs. Bristol
Triples: None
Walks: 2, June 1 at Wisconsin
Strikeouts: 4, April 29 at Bowling Green
Stolen Bases: None
Hit Streak: 9, June 29 – July 9

Photo of Carson’s catching equipment in Instructs. Want a look at Carson behind the plate? Here’s video he posted on his Instagram in November of him behind the plate while working out at home

Carson’s first Chiefs home run of the season on June 7.

and his second HR in a Chiefs uniform was also at home against Clinton

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