Kelly earned a late-July promotion to Memphis, where he posted a .733 OPS for the Redbirds. He'll be one of three backup catchers currently on the active roster competing for reps behind starter Yadier Molina.
Kelly, 22, is hitting .303/.351/.455 in nine games since being promoted to Triple-A Memphis.
It's rare that a player who projects to stick behind the dish reaches Triple-A as a 22-year-old, and Kelly is a young 22, as his birthday is July 14. The big concern with Kelly was always whether or not he'd hit enough to be useful in fantasy, and the bat has really taken a big step forward this year. He posted a .740 OPS with six homers in the Texas League prior to his promotion. It will likely be a batting average centered fantasy profile, but that will still play, given the lack of useful options at the position. Unfortunately, in this organization, he is unlikely to take over the everyday duties anytime soon, as Yadier Molina is signed through 2017 with a team option for 2018.
Kelly is hitting .400 over his last 10 games at Double-A, including two home runs. The converted catcher is hitting .294 on the season for Springfield.
Kelly was drafted in by the Cardinals as third baseman in 2012. He made the transition to catcher prior to the 2014 season, making this his third full season. Kelly struggled most of 2014 and 2015, but has found his stride this season. He looks more comfortable behind the plate, which is allowing him to focus more on his offense this season. The 21-year-old still has a long way to go if he wants to become a big-league catcher, but his play this season at Double-A is a sign of hope.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/2/2016 vs Pittsburgh|
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|Last 7 Games|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2012||R-Johnson City Cardina||56||213||24||48||10||0||9||25||10||33||0||0||.263||.399||.225|
|2013||ASX-State College Spikes||70||271||35||75||16||1||4||32||20||31||1||0||.340||.387||.277|
|2015||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||108||389||30||85||18||1||8||51||22||64||0||0||.263||.332||.219|
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