"I want to get to the majors and compete every day there," Kelly said. "I want to get there and stay there, and be a strong competitor."
Kelly, last year's 28th round pick for the Jays, has to first make his way through the system. One of those first steps is in Dunedin for Instructional League, which came to an end on Friday. Looking back on the five to six weeks he spent in Instructs, Kelly assessed his performance.
"I did very [well]. I knew it was a learning process since day one," he stated. "I was working on a lot of stuff and I pretty much got them all down, and I've been very happy with my performance."
He explained some of the most important aspects of his game that he was trying to improve.
"I've been working on my downhill plane when I pitch to get the ball down, and my offspeed pitches which have improved a lot - just working on my command with the offspeed pitches and the fastball, just low strikes."
The righty features a 90-91 MPH fastball, low-80s changeup and a high-70s curveball. Kelly said that his out-pitch is the changeup, which he likes to use to induce ground balls. He acknowledged the importance of a good one-two combination in his fastball and changeup.
"You keep the guys off their balance. They don't know what's coming and you get a lot of ground balls. If you don't have the command of your changeup, they just sit on your fastball and it's harder to pitch like that."
Prior to instructs, Kelly got some pro ball experience in the Gulf Coast League earlier this year. In 15 appearances, he threw 24 innings and had a 2-2 record with a 7.13 ERA. He struggled a bit with his command, striking out 18 batters and walking 14. While his numbers weren't anything special during the GCL, Kelly said he feels much more comfortable after his opportunity to play in Instructs.
"I feel way better because I was working during the GCL on a lot of stuff which I progressed on them during Instructs," he said. "I am where I want to be now, which I was working the whole year on and I finally feel comfortable with all of [the things I was working on]."
With Instructs over, there are roughly four months until Spring Training comes around. After that, players will be placed on either a long-season or short-season team. Kelly isn't concerned with that, though - he just wants to play.
"I want to be where they put me, and I will work hard wherever they put me. I want to work hard to get as high as I can."
Right-handed pitching prospect Adaric Kelly seems to have things figured out. Only 20-years-old, the Aruba native understands the improvements that need to be made to his game, what qualities he can use to his advantage and what his future aspirations are. He didn't give details about what kind of player he could become, but instead was adamant about the level of success he plans to achieve.
Kelly Working Downhill
Adaric Kelly has been working on keeping the ball lower in the zone and coming downhill.
Dunedin Beat Writer
Adaric Kelly is working on pitching downhill
Oct 23, 2011