Milwaukee Brewers: 3 Prospects Looking to Bounce Back in 2022
2. LHP Antoine Kelly
Another high draft pick of the Brewers, No. 10 prospect Antoine Kelly was taken in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft. Unlike Mitchell, he got to experience his professional debut that same year and give fans a glimpse of why the team was so high on him.
Kelly pitched in 10 games that season, all but one of which being at the team’s Arizona complex league blue team. Overall, he would give up 10 earned runs over 31 2/3 innings (2.84 ERA) and compile a 1.105 WHIP while putting together an impressive 45-to-9 K/BB ratio.
Kelly wouldn’t be able to carry that momentum into actual games the following year due to the aforementioned canceled season. He would, however, get an invite to participate in the team’s alternate training site, where he was reportedly one of the more impressive pitchers in camp.
That is where the development was put on pause. That following offseason, after fall instructional league, Kelly would be diagnosed with, and subsequently undergo surgery for, thoracic outlet syndrome.
Kelly would have his 2021 season start delayed until about mid-July, when he would spend one game at the Arizona complex before heading to the Low-A Carolina Mudcats. The results there were mixed.
On one hand, it was good to for Kelly to get back in action and the strikeout numbers were there with him punching out 27 batters in 19 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, so were the walks, hits, and runs as Kelly put together a combined 9.78 ERA and 1.810 WHIP across nine games (eight starts).
For Kelly, being over a year removed from surgery and having more time for everything to strengthen up will hopefully make all the difference. It sets him up as a prime candidate for a bounce back season.