Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Player Preview: Jared Kelley


When it comes to high school arms, the Pittsburgh Pirates have never been shy about selecting one. Could they look that direction again under the new front office?

Have you heard of the best prospect nobody is really talking about? Enter the 6-foot-3 and 215 pound right-hander, Jared Kelley. The 18-year-old is Texas’ best high school pitching prospect since the Pittsburgh Pirates own Jameson Taillon. Rightfully so, as Kelley has dominated competition.

Kelley has a fastball that sits anywhere from 93-100 MPH with good movement, a true plus pitch for him to start off with. Rounding out his pitches he has a plus Low 80s change up and an average curveball and slider as well. Already possessing a great pitch combination, with development he could definitely become a front line starter in the league. Kelley is my number three pitcher in this class below only Asa Lacy, and Emerson Hancock.

The reasoning is that I view Kelley as a complete pitcher and i think he has a very good shot at developing nicely. The plus fastball is a big-time pitch for him that should translate to pro ball very easily, along with his plus change up. Widely regarded as a sure-fire top 10 draft pick before losing his 2020 season, I wouldn’t count out the young gun.

Now, Kelley will most likely not be in play at pick number seven but there is a small chance he somehow slips to the Pittsburgh Pirates at pick number 31. If so, they should jump on him, but I don’t see him falling that far. either. Even if he falls to that spot it would be very hard to sign him and he may choose to fulfill his commitment to the University of Texas. So taking Kelley would be a risk, something the Pittsburgh Pirates did a few years back when they took (current Reds prospect) Nick Lodolo at  41st overall of the 2016 MLB Draft. Lodolo then did not sign and attended his commitment to TCU instead.

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The Pirates may be given an opportunity to absolutely steal Jared Kelley at pick 31. If available they should do exactly that.