New Texas Rangers farm hand Antoine Kelly may have a funky delivery, but the pitches that come out of his left hand are already confounding hitters at Double-A Frisco.
Kelly was one of two players that the Rangers received from Milwaukee in exchange for reliever Matt Bush in the lead-up to the trade deadline. Kelly was in the Brewers farm system and the Rangers slid him down to Frisco. MLB.com also moved Kelly to the No. 15 spot on the Rangers’ list of Top 30 prospects, making him the centerpiece of the deal.
It was the Rangers’ only trade at the deadline.
It’s not clear whether Kelly will be a starter or a reliever one day. But what is clear is that his deliver made at least one hitter look rather inept this past weekend.
Kelly’s appearance with Frisco was his first start since the trade. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and a run while striking out five.
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The Texas right-handed pitcher was coming off a victory against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Brewers selected Kelly in the second round (No. 65 overall) of the 2019 MLB Draft out of Wabash Valley CC in Wabash, Ill. In 2019 he did a quick stint with the High Class-A Wisconsin Rattlers before moving over to the Arizona Fall League. In 2020, he designated to Milwaukee's alternate training site in Arizona to continue working during the pandemic shut down of minor league baseball.
In 2021, he pitched for three Brewers affiliates — their Arizona Complex League team, the Carolina Mudcats and the Wisconsin Rattlers after spending time on the injured list. He went 0-2 with a 9.78 ERA in nine games, eight of which were starts.
With the Brewers in 2022, he made 19 starts with the Rattlers, going 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard