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White Sox sign Jared Kelley

All ... five ... draft choices are in the fold!

Tagged and bagged: Kelley, wearing a name tag at Sox Park for the first and last time.
Chicago White Sox

On Saturday, the White Sox made the steal of the 2020 draft official.


CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have signed right-handed pitcher Jared Kelley, their second-round pick in the 2020 draft, to a minor-league contract with a $3 million signing bonus.

Kelley, 18, was named the 2019-20 National Gatorade Player of the Year for baseball after not allowing a hit and striking out 34 batters over 12 scoreless innings. He entered the draft rated by as the No. 12 overall, No. 3 high school and No. 4 right-handed pitching prospect.

“This is a moment I’ve been dreaming about for as long as I can remember and still can’t believe it’s real,” Kelley says. “None of this would be possible without the love and support from my mom, dad, brother and the many coaches and teammates I’ve had along the way. I’d like to thank the Chicago White Sox for taking a chance on me and I promise to give you, and White Sox fans everywhere, everything I’ve got.”

The 6´2´´, 215-pound Kelley posted a 0.22 ERA and 144 strikeouts over 65 innings during his junior season. He pitched for the USA 18U National Team in the 2018 Pan American championship, helping his team win a gold medal.

Kelley, a Refugio, Texas native, was recommended by White Sox scout Tyler Wilt.

With the signing of Kelley and left-handed pitcher Bailey Horn, the club’s fifth-round pick, the White Sox have agreed to terms with all five of their 2020 MLB Draft selections.

Bailey Horn got $150,000, Kade Mechals $10,000, and Adysin Coffey $50,000.

Let’s just go ahead and say it: Local scout Tyler Wilt is the unsung hero of the 2020 season. Presumably, he’s the one who smelled out a possibility that Kelley could be had if there was any chance (slim, to none) that Kelley slipped to the No. 47 pick. (Keep in mind, several writers, including James Fox of sister site South Side Hit Pen and Future Sox, tabbed Kelley with Chicago’s No. 1 pick — he is that good.)

Also, no pressure: Refugio is the town in Texas where another pretty decent, right-handed fireballer was born.

Nolan Ryan.