White Sox select Jared Kelley in second round of 2020 MLB Draft

Early in the mock projection of the 2020 MLB Draft, Jared Kelley was tied to the White Sox as a potential first-round pick. In fact, Josh made made the case for Kelley in his first mock draft of the spring.

Well, the White Sox instead took Tennessee lefty Garrett Crochet with their first-round pick

… but they were able to circle back and snag Kelley in the second round.

Kelley, a 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound righty out of Refugio High School in Texas, overpowered the prep and showcase ranks. He struck out 34 batters over 12 innings this spring without allowing a hit, and he earned Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year honors for that dominance.

What’s to like?

Kelley can run his fastball in the high 90s with ease, and his changeup is good enough that it makes sense for a guy who throws that hard to throw it in high school. He has a repeatable delivery that generates advanced command for his age, especially given the power.

What’s not to like?

There’s a stigma against hard-throwing high school righties, especially ones like Kelley with little physical projection remaining (think Tyler Kolek). He also hadn’t shown a breaking ball that suits him, although he’s talked up his progress on his slider. Otherwise, the big sticking point is money, as Kelley has a commitment to the University of Texas. As you can see by looking at where he ranked on prospect lists, he seems to be asking for his fair share.

Where did he rank?

What does he look like?

Josh saw him at the Under Armour showcase.

The first nine picks (of the second round)

  1. Detroit Tigers: Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State
  2. Baltimore Orioles: Hudson Haskin, OF, Tulane
  3. Miami Marlins: Daxton Fulton, LHP, Mustang HS (Okla.)
  4. Kansas City Royals: Ben Hernandez, RHP, De La Salle Institute (Chicago)
  5. Toronto Blue Jays: CJ Van Eyk, RHP, Florida State
  6. Seattle Mariners: Zach DeLoach, OF, Texas A&M
  7. Pittsburgh Pirates: Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada (Calif.) HS
  8. San Diego Padres: Owen Cassie, OF, Notre Dame Catholic (Ontario, Canada)
  9. Colorado Rockies: Chris McMahon, RHP, Miami

(Photo of Jared Kelley by Steven Silva)

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

Articles: 3917
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

He’s already on video on the team’s Twitter talking with Hahn and Shirley and wearing a Sox hat. Seems like he had an idea already that the Sox could be taking him if he had the hat ready to go. And pretty sure Hahn and Shirley know the number needed to get it done.


Should we be more optimistic on ability to sign him since he’s already wearing a Sox cap on Twitter?

The sox have been well connected to Kelley for a while. In a 5 player draft, theres no way they take him if they thought there was real risk they couldn’t sign him.

i would guess we draft a bunch of nobodies with the last 3 picks to afford him. I’m OK with it personally.


Yeah, sounds like an agreement may be in place.

Trei Cruz just went to the Tigers, which I mention because he is Jose Cruz, Jr.’s son….and I recall watching Jose Sr. jetting around the Astrodome in his prime. I am going to see if I can unscrew a jar of Geritol now.

Eagle Bones

Reading this I thought you were going to tell me he was ted Cruz’s son. This is much better. Or worse depending on how you look at it. I wouldn’t hate rooting against ted Cruz’s kid I guess.


At first I was worried because he wasn’t smiling. But once he starts talking it’s pretty clear that he has no intention of holding out or going to college. I hope his parents/agents don’t have different plans.


34 out of his 36 outs this year were strikeouts?! He wasn’t just unhittable, he was flat out untouchable. I get the concerns that he may have already maxed out physically, but gosh–what else does a guy have to do to get drafted in the 1st round?

I can’t believe he fell to us and I hope he makes the rest of the leage look silly.


Hes 6’4 225. Who cares if he has maxed out physically, ya know? Thats an MLB frame.


Ha, right that struck me as weird too.

lil jimmy

except he’s 6’3″ and really 6’2″
“Jared Kelley RHP 18.7 6′ 2″ 225 R R Refugio HS TX Texas”


Cole Wilcox to the Padres at pick 80.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Chicamauga’s where he’s been. San Diego’s where he’s bound.


So are they taking Crotchet underslot? I heard he dropped to the second round because he wanted Top 10 pick money?


Round 3 is an underslot pick


Wasn’t there a report before the draft that Crochet had a deal with some team? Yeah, I read it as they’re getting Crochet somewhat underslot and that they have a deal with Kelley for over slot. We’ll see how much more space they have to create in later rounds.


I wonder if pick 5 (last pick) could possibly be the traditional ‘friends and family’ pick. I wouldn’t have expected it initially, but if trying to save money, who knows what is possible

lil jimmy

none appears to be the answer


In the third round, the Sox take Adisyn Coffey from Wabash Valley College. RHP, going to save slot money here.


Illinois JuCo?


Yep, in Mt. Carmel, so that area is doing well in the draft this year.


Who else from that area was drafted? Not to be confused with Ed Howard from Mt. Carmel HS in Chicago.


Whoops my mistake!


Do his parents have 20 spelling or 20 empathy?


Best comment of the draft.


He was a Louisville commit! It still counts.


Absolutely love this strategy. Two huge arms, really dont care about rounds 3 thru 5. Its a weird year draft wise, go sign a bunch of system guys you like for 20k, but to get 2 plus arms both with high to mid 1st round grades in rounds 1 and 2 is amazing. Well done sox, we dont need middling prospects and 4a bums go for the high end types and see what happens! Love it.


100percent agree.


It’s a lot of eggs in very few baskets when you also take into account that last year was essentially a 3 player draft as well.
Not knocking it as I’ve seen no studies bashing this strategy. Just pointing it out.


I kind of look at it as do I want 1 lotto ticket with 1-100 odds or do I want 4 lotto tickets with each 1-1000 odds….. to me the math is easy on that.


Kade Mechals is the 4th round pick.


I really hope they get someone interesting in the 5th.


I suspect they’ve allocated just about all of their budget to Crochet and Kelley, but we’ll know soon. Tanner Witt would be a shock.

Eagle Bones

They keep talking about college juniors going back to school because they dont like the money at their slot. Is that really going to happen? Have to think they dont wanna be coming out next year with zero leverage in the draft.

lil jimmy

two pitchers and a bowl full of jelly.


A Zach… ZACH BRITTON….from Louisville just got drafted by someone other than the Sox. Nick Hostetler is definitely outside the room.


Speaking of Louisville (city, not college), the Diamondbacks just got a pitcher from that city with an 80 name: Brandon Pfaadt.


Sox close out the draft with Bailey Horn.

Mike Shirley did not lie when he said they liked pitching this year. A couple of 1st-round flamethrowers, a couple of TJ-recovery projects, and a JUCO arm.

lil jimmy

Horn is the best of the last three

Eagle Bones

Hes got at least one fan. Sounds like the biometrics nerds would love him. Interesting!

Bailey Horn is one of my favorite sleepers in this draft. I’ve seen him attack at 92-93, loose and easy, quality slider at 81-82, tough angle. Physical and athletic. Took some time to find his stride last year coming off injury, but was pretty filthy by Auburn's postseason run. https://t.co/Hq76KNraBb

— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 12, 2020


Yeah, this is a guy who could have gone in the 2nd or 3rd round. Longenhagen has him at 172 on his board.

Eagle Bones

Yup. From longenhagen:

Model friendly. t96 this spring, big numbers. TJ, riding fastball, breakers that pair well, doesn’t throw CB much, 2750 rpm depth, SL is sweepier 82-84 2500 rpm, FB solid spin 2250 rpm, high spin, high near 100 efficiency. Easy delivery, little stiff due to muscle, very athletic/dunks, outraced CF
Full Report
Agent thinks 3rd, possible deal in 2nd comp around pick 70


Josh Nelson

You can watch his last start against Chicago State here: https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/4200c113-dd82-4532-8edd-f026d6eb63c2

Reminds me of Konnor Pilkington


Kala`i Rosario out of Hilo just went to the Twins. Maybe he can face off against Kodi Medeiros someday in an AL Central race.