White Sox thrilled to land prep pitcher Jared Kelley in second round of draft
In Baseball America's mock draft, Jared Kelley was going to the Indians with the No. 23 overall pick of the first round.
MLB Pipeline also had the hard-throwing Texan moving off the board at No. 23.
The first round came and went Wednesday night, and Kelley found himself still available.
"We were kind of like, 'Man, what's going on?" the 18-year-old pitcher said.
On Thursday the White Sox pounced on Kelley in the second round, drafting the Refugio High School product with the No. 47 overall pick.
The signing bonus money in that spot is $1.58 million, and Kelley is expected to receive more than that and join the Sox rather than honor his collegiate commitment to Texas.
"You never know what can happen," Kelley said on a Sox video call that also included general manager Rick Hahn and amateur scouting director Mike Shirley. "That was my mindset. Coming into the second rounds, I just knew I had to stick with it. It just took one team, that's all it took.
"I'm just going to make the best of this opportunity and pay you guys back. That's all I can do. I'm ready to get out there and prove it."
Hahn was happy to hear that, and he praised Kelley's rocket arm and makeup.
"We think you're sitting great here to help us win championships in Chicago," the White Sox's GM said. "Can't wait to have you up here when the time is right."
With only five rounds in this year's draft due to cost-cutting measures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Sox appear to have set aside most of their signing bonus money on their to two picks.
On Wednesday night, they drafted University of Tennessee left-hander Garrett Crochet with the No. 11 overall pick.
"We got two top of the rotation arms in one draft," White Sox director of amateur scouting Mike Shirley said.
The Sox were focused on pitching heading into the draft and all five picks were pitchers.
In the third round, they selected right-hander Adisyn Coffey from downstate Wabash Valley College.
In the fourth, they drafted right-hander Kade Mechals from Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University.
In the fifth round, the White Sox selected Auburn left-hander Bailey Horn.