Tyler Kelly, now 24 years old, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of UC-Davis. Kelly is by far one of the most patient hitters I have had the privilege to watch, as he consistently walks more than he strikes out, yes you read that correctly. I know that seems like a far fetched idea with the current roster of the Orioles, but Kelly has one heck of an eye at the plate and knowledge of the strike zone. He has some gap power and is a pretty good defender at second base with above average arm strength. In four minor league seasons, only once has he struck out more than he walked and that was his second professional season. 2012 was a great year for Kelly, who began with the class A Frederick Keys, where he hit .346 with a robust .460 OBP in 324 plate appearances before being promoted to the AA Bowie Baysox. Tyler continued his great 2012 with Bowie as he hit .308 with a great .384 OBP in 199 plate appearances, which garnered him yet another promotion, this time to the AAA Norfolk Tides where he was able to play 11 games and recorded a .278 average with a .350 OBP.
Not only has Kelly had a great 2012, but he was also kind enough to take some time to sit down with us for an interview and respond to a few questions for our readers.
Orioles101: First let me just thank you for taking the time for us, I know our readers will enjoy this. You had a great 2012, can you summarize what, if any adjustments you made that were keys to being so consistent?
I think the biggest thing is just getting more experience. I've played four seasons and I get a better feel for who I am as a player each year.
Orioles101: And you have gotten better each year! What are you working on this offseason to keep that progression going?
I'm focusing on the things that made me successful last year so I can stay consistent, as well as putting on weight to hit for more power.
Orioles101: Was the power a focus of your's last offseason? You certainly displayed more in 2012.
I think it came as a product of my approach at the plate improving. I want to stay with that approach and put up better numbers this year.
Orioles101: Love hearing that. When you were drafted by Baltimore in 2009, what was your reaction?
I knew very little about the Orioles beyond Cal Ripken Jr., but I'm not sure there is a better introduction to the O's than going to Aberdeen.
Orioles101: I have played in that stadium as well and it is one of a kind, that's for sure. What are some of your 2013 goals?
My goal is to get better in every category offensively and defensively. If I can do that, I will be satisfied no matter what level I'm at.
Orioles101: Last one for you, who wins this year's Super Bowl?
Let me put it to you this way: the QB with the best completion percentage in the NFL is the backup. The San Fransisco 49'ers bring the trophy to Cali!
Orioles101: Haha, I like that you know your stuff and I might have disagreed with you before they beat the Patriots, but I could see it. Thanks again for taking the time for us, good luck this season and we hope to see you at the Yard soon!
Orioles101 would like to thank Tyler Kelly for taking the time for an interview with us and responding to a few questions for our readers. If not for Jonathan Schoop, Kelly could be the next guy in line in the minors for the second base position for the Orioles, and if Baltimore wants to let Schoop mature another year in the minors, Kelly could see a call-up to Baltimore in his future in 2013 if the Orioles do not get the production they are looking for out of second base. He would certainly bring a great attribute with him, HE GET'S ON BASE!
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