Texas fans cheer after Zach Zubia (52) hit a solo home run against Abilene Christian in Austin on March 11, 2020. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

BEVO BEAT Baseball

Longhorn recruit Jared Kelley named the top baseball player in Texas

Posted May 22nd, 2020

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UT signee Jared Kelley has been named the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2020 baseball season.

Due the coronavirus pandemic, Kelley made only three starts during his senior year at Refugio. He made the most of his time on the mound, however. According to the Victoria Advocate, the right-handed Kelley did not allow a hit this spring and used a strikeout to record 34 of his 36 outs.

“It’s a blessing,” Kelley told the Advocate this week. “I worked hard and for them to choose me is just an honor.”

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During his high school career, Kelley went 32-3 with a 0.43 ERA. He did not surrender any hits in 23 of his pitching appearances.

This marks the second time in the past three years that Gatorade has recognized a UT baseball signee as the top player in Texas. But like 2018 winner Brett Baty, a Lake Travis infielder who was selected by the New York Mets with the 12th pick in last year’s MLB Draft, Kelley may never make it to campus. This week, MLB.com predicted that Kelley would be the Mets’ first-round pick in next month’s draft.

Baseball America has rated Texas’ 2020 recruiting class as the nation’s best. In April, Texas coach David Pierce predicted that the five-round draft could feature six of his recruits.

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