The Phillies kept Kennelly in their academy in Australia until this past spring, when he came to the states for minor league spring training. He spent his time in extended camp before the Gulf Coast League season started in June. Once he was on the field facing real competition, Kennelly played well and is hitting .325 and is tied for the team lead with seven doubles.
While Kennelly is enjoying his time in the states, he admits it's different than life in his native Australia. "It is a lot busier here and a lot more going on, it's more layed back at home, there is always something going on here," observed Kennelly. Even relaxing is busier than at home. "I've gone to the beach and it is a lot busier here. The sand and water is better in Australia," said Kennelly. "I have also been to Universal Studios and Disney World and out golfing," said the 18 year old prospect. While life in the states is different for Kennelly, he's probably not the normal 18 year old, who lives to play video games. "I bought an x-box when I first got here, but got bored with it after the first three weeks," reported Kennelly.
It's kind of surprising that so many young Australian players are doing so well in the Phillies organization. After all, baseball isn't exactly the national past time in Kennelly's homeland. "In school, I played Australian rules football, which is what most people play," admitted Kennelly. "You play t-ball and then they drop out, because it's not very big." Kennelly was one of the few that didn't drop out. He found time to add baseball and some basketball to his schedule.
The Phillies are happy with themselves for finding Kennelly and they're pleased with the progress that he's made. For Kennelly, the Phillies were also a good fit, since he was at least somewhat familiar with them. "My best friend, Mitch Graham who is also with the Phillies, signed before me and Scott Mitchenson also signed before me so I had a pretty good idea about the Phillies and what to expect," said Kennelly. Now, Kennelly also has an Australian native as his roommate in catcher Joel Naughton.
After a quick trip back home when the season ends, Kennelly will be back in Clearwater for the Florida Instructional League in a little over a month. It's possible that Kennelly will soon have another familiar face in town if the Phillies get their way. The Phillies have offered Kennelly's younger brother a contract, which is still unsigned, but still being considered. So, is the younger Kennelly any good. "He plays third, catcher and pitches a little. He's a little taller than me," said Kennelly. Needless to say, the Phillies are hoping that they can double up on their success where the Kennelly family is concerned.