On Saturday night, Bradenton catcher Christian Kelley collected four hits and a walk. He raised his average to .330, which ranks him seventh in the Florida State League. He also ranks sixth in OBP (.426) and 14th with an .849 OPS. We ranked Kelley as the 49th best prospect in our 2017 Prospect Guide. He's up to 45th now due to some departures and players losing their prospect status. Kelley got that ranking more for the fact that he combined strong defense with improved hitting last year. He was driving the ball better than in 2015, when he played in Morgantown after being drafted in the 11th round. The stats were only slightly better on paper in 2016, but we had the advantage of multiple people seeing him each year, and we noticed the improvements. His strong defense pushed him up the ra...
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John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.