Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
“I’m shocked and just excited. I know I’ve worked hard, and I’ve sacrificed a lot for this baseball. I never thought that this Gatorade Player of the Year…I’m just totally blessed,” Kelley said.
Kelley is slated to attend the University of Texas but is also viewed as the No. 1 overall prospect for the 2020 MLB draft. The righty posted a 32-3 record with an 0.43 ERA during his high school career, and he was the winning pitcher at the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game.
“I thought I was just doing a call and they were going to talk about what I’ve been doing through this whole process and what I’ve been doing,” Kelley told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “I had no idea they were talking to me about giving me this award. I got on the call and I was looking at Bryce Harper and I didn’t know what was happening.”
Kelley is the second straight Texas player to win the national honor, joining Bobby Witt Jr., who won last year. Witt was the second overall selection in the 2019 MLB draft and plays for the Kansas City Royals organization.