Zack Kelly Boston Red Sox Pitcher

       
 
Age: 27
Born: March 3, 1995
Birthplace: San Felipe, CA
Height: 6-3
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
   
Drafted: Not drafted
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
(Jan. 2021)
College: Newberry (SC)
High School: Lord Botetourt (VA)
ETA: Late 2022

Photo © Kelly O'Connor
Zack Kelly photos by Kelly O'Connor
Pronunciation: ---
First Pro Contract: June 16, 2017 (OAK)
Signing Scout: Neil Avent
Signing Bonus: $500
Rule 5 Draft Eligible: ---
MLFA Eligible: ---
   
Pro Debut: June 25, 2017 (AZL Athletics)
Added to 40-man: August 29, 2022
MLB Debut: August 29, 2022 (BOS)
Service Time (1/22): 0 days
Options Remaining: 3 (0 used)
Contract (2022): $700,000
   
Twitter: @zack_kelly
Instagram: @zack_kelly19

 
 
 
 
 
     
  Scouting Report & Links      
         
  Physical Description: Filled-out right-hander with a mature frame. Sturdy lower half. No remaining projection.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the first base side of the rubber. Medium leg kick. Stiff delivery. Arm hook behind. Rocks back at his peak and then drops and drives as he comes forward. Inconsistent timing with delivery leads him to pull off with his front side. Average athlete, good arm speed.

Fastball: 93-96 mph. Tops out at 98 mph. Heavy, generates a lot of weak contact on the ground. Throws strikes, but command is below-average. Command and velocity have improved as the 2022 season has gone on. Plus pitch.

Changeup: 80-82 mph. Great separation from fastball. Pitch shows late, parachuting movement down. Throws with very deceptive arm speed. Has shown bat-missing ability at the minor league level. Plus pitch.

Cutter: 87-89 mph. Hard, horizontal break. Primarily used to generate soft contact against right-handed hitters. Potential fringe-average offering.

Slider: 83-84 mph. Has not incorporated much in outings scouted since 2021.
  Career Notes: Signed as an undrafted free agent by Oakland for a $500 bonus out of Division II Newberry College in 2017. Was released the following April before signing just over a week later with the Angels. Made it to Double-A with that organization by early 2019 and pitched well. Tore the UCL in his pitching arm in early 2020 but avoided Tommy John surgery. Was released after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19 and it became clear he would need some form of surgery. Underwent elbow surgery but was back throwing off a mound by November 2020 and signed with the Red Sox as a minor league free agent. Re-signed with the organization before reaching free agency after the 2021 season, receiving an invitation to Major League spring training. Participated in 2022 Winter Warm-Up.

Summation: Projects as a middle reliever. Ceiling of a consistent seventh-inning arm. Likely lacks late-inning upside due to inconsistent command, but could stick around for a while as a sixth-inning arm. Fastball and changeup both project as plus pitches, with changeup showing true bat-missing ability. Cutter is more of a pitch-to-contact offering at present, but if it improves, would give him a third pitch that can miss bats. Late bloomer who could continue to improve and see his stuff take a step forward again.


Links
Scouting Scratch (7.21.2021)
Scouting Scratch: Red Sox 2021 Rule 5 Preview (11.18.2021)
 
   
     
    Pitching Stats                                          
  year team lg level org age w l era g gs sv ip h r er hr hbp bb so whip k/9 bb/9
2016 Newberry SAC NCAA --- 21 8 4 3.02 14 14 0 86.1 67 31 29 5 7 43 83 1.27 8.65 4.48
  2017 Newberry SAC NCAA --- 22 7 3 3.72 13 12 1 82.1 81 37 34 2 4 29 94 1.34 10.28 3.17
  2017 AZL Athletics Ariz Rk Oak 22 1 0 3.77 13 0 1 28.2 28 16 12 1 1 6 23 1.19 7.22 1.88
2018 Orem Owlz Pio Rk LAA 23 1 0 1.13 2 0 0 8.0 5 2 1 0 0 2 9 0.88 10.13 2.25
  2018 Burlington Bees Midw A LAA 23 3 3 2.86 12 0 0 28.1 26 10 9 3 3 12 25 1.34 7.94 3.81
  2018 Inland Empire 66ers Cal A+ LAA 23 1 0 5.40 4 0 1 6.2 9 4 4 0 0 2 7 1.65 9.45 2.70
  2019 Inland Empire 66ers Cal A+ LAA 24 0 1 0.00 1 0 0 4.0 4 1 0 0 1 0 2 1.00 4.50 0.00
2019 Mobile BayBears Sou AA LAA 24 3 6 3.82 20 13 0 75.1 77 42 32 5 2 29 83 1.41 9.92 3.46
  2020 Season Cancelled --- --- TB 25 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
  2021 Portland Sea Dogs DNE AA Bos 26 3 1 1.69 21 0 5 26.2 18 6 5 1 6 13 40 1.16 13.50 4.40
  2021 Worcester Red Sox TAE AAA Bos 26 1 0 2.89 15 0 1 18.2 13 6 6 1 1 5 29 0.96 14.00 2.40
   
     
    2022 Stats                                          
  year team lg level org age w l era g gs sv ip h r er hr hbp bb so whip k/9 bb/9
2022 Worcester Red Sox IL AAA Bos 27     stats                            
  2022 Boston Red Sox AL MLB Bos 27     stats                            
   
     
  Advanced Stats & Splits
   
     
  Awards   SoxProspects.com Awards  
  2022 Red Sox Lou Gorman Award    2021 SoxProspects.com All-Star  
   

   
     
 
 
 
     
 
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