While Carson Kelly may still have a ways to go offensively, the former third baseman has most impressively cemented himself as a catcher with Monday’s announcement that the 21-year-old has won the Minor League Baseball Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his position for 2015.
Across all 10 full-season minor leagues and 30 organizations, there are only nine annual winners, one for each defensive position, making Kelly’s honor even more significant.
In just his second year as a catcher, Kelly threw out 36 percent of base stealers (31-of-86) and allowed just six passed balls in 920 1/3 innings behind the plate for A-Advanced Palm Beach. The Cardinals' second-round draft pick in 2012 from Westview High School in Portland, Oregon made just three errors in 104 games, all on throws, making his fielding percentage .996.
At the dish this season, the right-handed hitter plated 51 runners in 389 at-bats while posting a slash line of .219/.263/.332/.594, all in the Florida State League. He is currently competing in the Cardinals instructional league camp in Jupiter, Florida.
Kelly, who was a non-roster invitee to Cardinals major league camp this spring for the second consecutive year, is the top catching prospect in the organization. In The Cardinal Nation’s August top 40 prospect rankings, Kelly held down the number 18 spot in the system.
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