Yesterday the New York Mets purchased the contract of minor league veteran Ty Kelly, promoting him from Triple-A Las Vegas to the major league roster. "Ty Kelly" is an outstanding 80-grade baseball name but what does he offer as a player? Let's find out.
Kelly was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round in 2009 from the University of California-Davis. After two so-so seasons in Low-A he broke out with a .327/.425/.467 line in 2012 split between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. He was traded to the Mariners in 2013, then traded to the Cardinals at the end of 2014, then claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays in 2015, then signed with the Mets as a free agent for 2016. All the while he was playing in Double-A and Triple-A, notably drawing 102 walks in 2013. His 2015 season was rather disappointing (.226/.322/.296) but he's been excellent thus far in '16, hitting .391/.478/.548 in Triple-A before his promotion.
Kelly is a switch-hitter, listed at 6-0, 185. He is generally a line drive spray hitter with gap power; he can occasionally put an over-the-fence charge in the ball (hitting 15 homers in '14 for example) but can struggle a bit when he becomes too conscious of it and is better off concentrating on contact. He has an excellent batting eye and posts consistently strong walk rates without whiffing excessively. Although his physical tools are nothing special, he is a jack-of-all-trades with the glove, with extensive experience at second base, third base, left field, and right field. Second base is the best position but he is workable everywhere. He can also play shortstop, first base, and center field in an emergency and has innings on his resume at every position except catcher.
Yes, he's pitched, too; he threw a shutout inning of relief in Triple-A in 2014.
Kelly has little left to prove in the minors. His versatility and ability to get on base could be quite useful in a major league bench.
Here's a nice bit of line drive hitting.