When Carson Kelly arrived in the Class-A Midwest League last April, he was the youngest player on his club. After struggling with the bat initially, the then-18-year-old ended up completing the summer a level down, with short-season State College.
After a conversion to catching, which began last fall during the organization's instructional league program, Kelly was invited to the St. Louis Cardinals 2014 major league spring training camp. On the surface, it seemed an unusual move given the Oregon native had yet to play a single official game at his new position. It was a good indication of how the organization feels about its top catching prospect.
To open the 2014 regular season, Kelly was back with Peoria. No longer the youngest on his team (that passed to pitcher Alex Reyes, born about 45 days later in the summer of 1994), Kelly now has the Midwest League experience under his belt that many of his teammates do not. That is even more important than before given his new leadership role behind the plate.
In the following exclusive interview, Kelly talks about his most eventful last 12 months.
Coming soon: In the near future, look for an interview with Kelly's teammate Kenny Peoples-Walls.
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