Who is this? San Diego Padres prospect Casey Kelly
What is this? An autographed card from the 2009 Greenville Drive team set
Where'd I get it? I wrote to Kelly at the Padres' spring training camp and asked him to sign it.
How much did it cost? Postage.
Why is this so special? Out of about 45 spring training autograph requests I've sent out so far this year, Kelly is one of the first players to send my cards back. (I also got autographs from Jason Vargas and Doug Fister of the Seattle Mariners today.)
Baseball America ranked Kelly as the Red Sox top prospect in November before Boston traded him to San Diego as part of the package for Adrian Gonzalez. He also ranked at the top of the San Diego prospect list last month.
Kelly struggled for the AA Portland Sea Dogs in 2010 - in 21 starts, he was 3-5 with a 5.31 ERA. Hopefully the 21-year-old right-hander will fare better in the Padres farm system this year.
Kelly also signed his 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 1 card for me. I'm glad I don't have to decipher his signature.