Lord Botetourt graduate Zack Kelly is just one step away from the “Big Show” this summer as a member of the AAA Worcester Red Sox. Zack pitched in his 27th game on Sunday, completing a scoreless inning and lowering his earned run average to 3.29 for the season.
Zack has been in the Red Sox system since he signed a minor league contract with Boston in January of 2021. He opened the season with the AA Portland Sea Dogs and pitched in 21 games with a 1.69 earned run average and a 3-1 record before being called up to Worcester on July 29, 2021. He pitched in 15 games in the AAA International League in ’21 for the Worcester Sox and posted a 2-1 record with 29 strikeouts in 19 innings. His total line for 2021 was 4-1 with 69 strikeouts and 45 innings while posting a 2.89 ERA in Worcester.
That performance got him a non-roster invite to spring training with the Boston team. He did not allow a run in three outings during the shortened spring training as labor talked dragged on. However, he was impressive enough to open some eyes in Boston about a possible promotion to the big team this season.
In his 27 appearances at Worcester this summer, Zack has given up runs in just four games, and just once in his past 13 appearances when he gave up three to Toledo on June 19. That raised his ERA from 2.55 to 3.55. He hasn’t given up a home run in 28 innings pitched, all in relief, and only 11 in 223 innings in his professional career. Zack’s four-season fastball has been clocked in the high 90s.
Kelly, now 27, pitched at Division II Newberry College after graduating from LB.