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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 5: Jared Kelley

The shock of the 2020 draft? This plum flamethrowing prospect falling to the White Sox in the second round

Sean Williams/South Side Sox

Jared Kelley

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
200 pounds
Age: 19
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 2
2021 SSS Top Prospect Vote: 5

Jared Kelley was quite an amazing catch for the White Sox, drafted in the second round in 2020 but pegged as a mid-first round talent. Obviously, “signability” concerns saw the fireballing prep drop — he had committed to the dream destination for many Texans, the University of Texas — but the White Sox played a hunch that first-round money could bring him into the fold. With essentially no drama, that’s just what happened.

Kelley spent time at the alternate site in Schaumburg last summer, as the more MLB-ready fireballer and first-rounder Garrett Crochet advanced to the majors in the season’s final week.

Kelley will again bide his time as Crochet hits triple-digits in the majors. Though potentially on a fast track upwards, the safe bet for a teenager is a start in Kannapolis, perhaps even with a tuneup in Arizona.

Here’s a look back at our Sports Illustrated coverage of Jared Kelley on draft day, with Jake Mastroianni in the writer’s seat.