Good Luck Ty Kelly
After toiling away away in the minor leagues for seven years, and after three teams had decided to move on from him, Ty Kelly found himself as a member of the Las Vegas 51s last year. At 27, it was becoming harder and harder to believe that Kelly was ever going to find that light at the end of the tunnel.
Still, he was undeterred. He just went out there and did all he could do to give the Mets no other choice but to call him up to the majors. He jumped right out of the gate hitting .386/.500/.477 in April. He was even better in May hitting .394/.463/.592. Kelly did this while also playing all eight defensive positions. Finally, due to a number of injuries, and his hot hitting, on May 24th, Kelly got the call up to the majors.
Unfortunately, Kelly struggled. Right off the bat, he was 0-4 with three strikeouts in his first ever game. During that first call-up, Kelly played in nine games only hitting .182/.250/.318. With that, call-up it seemed as if his first ever career home run might just be the lone highlight of his career:
His second call-up in June didn’t go much better with him going 0-5 in his five pinch hitting appearances. With that Kelly found himself in a familiar position. He was back in the minor leagues just waiting for his chance to get called back up to the major leauges. In some sense, this time it had to be all the more frustrating because he finally got his chance, and he struggled. He got his chance, and he was right back to square one. Fortunately for Kelly, he got one more chance, and he took advantage of it.
In August, Kelly was a surprise call-up due to his struggles, and he was an even bigger surprise as the starting left fielder. This time, Kelly took full advantage of the opportunity going 2-4 with two runs and a walk. During this stint, he proved he could hit at the major league level. He showed he can be a versatile player. Mostly, Kelly established there was a spot for him in the major leagues. This is no small feat for anyone, let alone anyone who waited over seven years for this chance.
In total, Kelly finished his first season in the major leagues hitting a very respectable .241/.352/.345 with a double, triple, home run, and seven RBI in 39 games. He was used in a myriad of roles playing first, second, third, and all three outfield positions. He was used as a pinch hitter and a pinch runner. He proved himself to be a smart baseball player. He earned himself a spot on the Mets Wild Card Game roster. In fact, Kelly should pinch hit for Addison Reed in the eighth inning, and he would get the one out single. His hit was only one of the four hits the Mets collected that day.
Kelly showed enough during his stint with the Mets to be named to the Team Israel roster in the World Baseball Classic. He was the team’s third baseman, and the number two hitter in a lineup that shocked the World by making it into the second round.
His play last season was enough to get him named to the Mets Opening Day roster, but it was not enough for him to stick. With both Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman both having short outings back-to-back, the Mets needed to clear space on the 40 man roster to bring up another pitcher. It was a numbers game, and Kelly was the one the Mets gambled on keeping. Ironically, the move was made so Paul Sewald could finally get his shot after waiting five years in the minor leagues.
It should come as no surprise that a team was interested in a player like Kelly. The Blue Jays made room on their roster for a player squeezed out by the Mets. Oddly enough, Kelly is now with a team that once passed over him. Once again, Kelly gets to prove everyone wrong and show both the Blue Jays and all of Major League Baseball that he belongs in the majors. Based upon last year, I wouldn’t bet against him.
And when he finally does get called back up to the majors, and we know he will, all Mets fans should wish him the best of luck. I know I will.