Agent Speaks on Kelly’s Decision
|12.07.09 at 7:59 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — Former Red Sox pitcher Joe Sambito, now the agent representing Red Sox prospect Casey Kelly, spoke about his client’s decision to pursue a career as a pitcher and abandoning his career as a shortstop.
Kelly was joined at his meeting with the Sox to discuss his future by his father, Pat, and agents Sambito and John Courtright. Despite the group of advisors, however, Sambito made clear that the decision was entirely that of the 20-year-old Kelly.
“I think it’s very clear that he’s a very, very talented pitcher. That’s not to take away from his talent as a position player,” said Sambito. “I think it was clear that his path to the big leagues was going to be somewhat shorter than as a position player. It really was Casey’s decision – 100 percent. He had to search deep down inside and decide what he wanted to do. John Courtright and I were there for guidance, but it was really Casey’s decision. That’s what it was – Casey’s decision.”
Already, Kelly has had a couple of momentous career decisions in his young professional career. After the Sox drafted him in 2008, he was torn between pursuing a two-sport career (baseball and football, where he would have been quarterback) at the University of Tennessee or giving up football to pursue a pro baseball career. Now, Kelly had to approach the pros and cons of another career-altering decision.
Sambito said that it is a credit to Kelly’s precocious nature that he has handled such choices without getting overwhelmed.
“I think [the two decisions] had similarities. There’s no doubt about that. Casey is a very mature young man – mature beyond his years. He’s in total control when he’s on the field,” said Sambito. “That maturity helped him in making the decision. He’s a remarkable guy, and I think we’re going to see great things from him.
“I think he’s going to gain another mile per hour or two on his fastball. It’s got good sink. His curveball is a 12-to-6, and I think he can make that better. His changeup that he’s got… And he’s got command of all three. I told him, the stuff that I see from you gets big-league hitters out. You can be competitive with the stuff you have now, and it’s only going to get better. It’s exciting.”
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