Right-handed pitcher Owen Kellington
One of the most looked-over selections from the 2021 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates was Owen Kellington. It’s gonna happen when you have names such as Henry Davis, Anthony Solometo, Lonnie White Jr., and Bubba Chander being selected before you, but just because he isn’t the flashiest prospect to come from the 2021 draft doesn’t mean he wasn’t worth the selection.
Kellington’s numbers at U-32 High School in Vermont were outrageous. He pitched 49 innings posting a .22 ERA while having 133 strikeouts. Of the 147 outs he made (49 innings, 3 outs each inning), 90.5% of them were strikeouts. That is insane. Just to put into perspective how crazy that is, Jacob deGrom, who had a historic start to the 2021 season, had an out to strikeout percentage of just 52.9%. Aroldis Chapman in 2014 set the highest single-season strikeout percentage record of all time in at least 50 innings at 52.5%. Only 65.4% of the outs he made were K’s.
Even though it’s high school level in Vermont, you have to be doing something right to get over 90% of outs made by batters faced. According to Ben Cherington, when scouting a guy like Kellington who wasn’t facing the highest end, high school hitters, the main focus on the young right-hander wasn’t the numbers, as crazy as they were. More so the athletic ability, mechanics, the quality of his offerings, as well as his makeup and his personality. How that can improve his game.
Kellington only throws in the lower-90’s with a strong 12-6 curveball to go with it. The right-hander will be going into his age-19 season. Now starting him out at A-Ball isn’t out of the question. The Pirates started another young prospect from the 2020 draft, Jared Jones at Bradenton and he pitched well despite running into bad luck. Seeing as the Pirates have been a bit more aggressive with their more talented prospects, Kellington getting a full season at Bradenton is completely possible. In a full season, I think Kellington could climb the rankings and become a more noteworthy pitching prospect.