Chicago White Sox: No.1 pitching prospect avoids injury scare

Refugio baseball pitcher Jared Kelley
Refugio baseball pitcher Jared Kelley /

The Chicago White Sox top-rated prospect went down with an injury scare last month but appears to be back and throwing again. Jared Kelley experienced some elbow soreness after a bullpen session following his start in Kannapolis on May 27th.

The Chicago White Sox are hoping that Jared Kelley isn’t too injured right now.

Anytime that you see a pitcher is dealing with an elbow injury, it is concerning. The organization wanted to be cautious with their prized pitching jewel of the farm system and let him rest to “quiet the soreness down,” in a precautionary measure. He was not allowed to throw during that time.

According to the White Sox, there was nothing more than some minor inflammation. He has begun throwing again and is ramping up to return to the mound for game action soon. The 19-year old right-hander is now completely asymptomatic, which is great news for the team.

Jared Kelley was selected in the second round with the 47th pick of the 2020 MLB Draft. He was an absolute steal in the second round for the White Sox. Some scouts had him projected to be even better than Garrett Crochet. Entering the draft he was MLB Pipeline’s No. 12 Draft prospect.

Kelley was drafted out of Refugio High School in Texas. Refugio is the hometown of flamethrower Nolan Ryan. A noteworthy connection for the hard-throwing youngster. Kelley’s fastball touches 99 mph and regularly sits around 96 mph with some run. During his junior season, he was dominant on the mound. Kelly posted a microscopic 0.22 ERA with 144 strikeouts. He also pitched in some big games while helping lead Refugio to the Class 2A Division I state title.

He was named 2020 Gatorade Player of the Year for baseball in Texas. In a pandemic shorted season, he struck out 34 hitters in just 12 innings. Only two of the 36 outs he recorded were not strikeouts. Per MLB Pipeline, he is the White Sox number one prospect.

Kelley worked at the team’s alternate training site in Schaumburg last season where he got his first taste of professional baseball. This season he has made four starts but has been roughed up to the tune of a 9.00 ERA. In those starts, he has 12 strikeouts and 10 walks in eight innings pitched.

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While those numbers leave a lot to be desired, it is important to remember that Kelley is still a kid. He also hasn’t pitched in a professional game until this season. There is plenty of room to grow for the talented right-hander. Hopefully, he can return to the mound at full strength and show why he is rated so highly in the farm system.