KYLE KELLER, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: April 18, 1993
Drafted: 18th Round, 536th Overall, 2015 (Marlins)
How Acquired: Trade (from Angels)
College: Southeastern Louisiana University
Agent: Nello P. Gamberdino II
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Keller was a late-round draft pick as a college senior, probably with the idea that he’d be an organizational pitcher. He didn’t get past low A until three years after he was drafted, by which time he was 25. In 2018, though, the Marlins added him to their 40-man roster, evidently on the basis of a solid season and some very high K rates. Keller throws a 94-95 mph fastball and a curve, using the latter nearly half of the time. He occasionally throws a change. He’s a strong flyball pitcher. The Pirates obtained Keller for cash from the Angels after they’d designated him for assignment.
Keller pitched in relief at three levels, not very well. The main issue was control problems.
The Marlins kept Keller in extended spring training until late May, then sent him to low A. He pitched well there against younger competition, with very good walk and K rates.
Keller went back to low A and again pitched well, although it doesn’t mean a great deal considering the level and his experience.
The Marlins moved Keller up to high A and he dominated there. In mid-May, he moved up to AA and mostly pitched well there. He had one outing, in which he gave up seven runs in a third of an inning, that inflated his numbers. Keller finished the season in AAA. He had very high K rates throughout. Miami added him to the 40-man roster afterward.
Keller opened the season in AA, but moved up to AAA after two games. His walk rate was OK and his K rate very high. The ERA is probably a little misleading, as he was in the Pacific Coast League, a high-offense league, in a year when the ball was juiced. The Marlins called him up late in the season and he pitched reasonably well in the majors, although he had control problems. After the season, Miami traded him to the Angels.
The Angels sent Keller to their alternate site and called him up several times. He only got into two games.
The Angels designated Keller for assignment at the end of spring training, then sent him to the Pirates. He opened the season at Indianapolis, came to Pittsburgh for three games in May, then came back up in early July. He stayed with the Pirates nearly all of the rest of the season; they sent him to AAA twice in September, but both times called him back the next day due to injuries. In AAA Keller dominated, with a huge K rate, but he struggled in the majors. He gave up runs in exactly half of his 32 appearances for the Pirates, including seven of eight at one point. He had problems with both walks and home runs, giving up nine of the latter, or nearly one every three and a half innings. Left-handed batters torched Keller for a .933 OPS, but Derek Shelton didn’t make any particular effort to avoid having Keller face them; they made up 42% of the plate appearances against him.
The Pirates outrighted Keller to AAA after the season. He’ll probably elect free agency.
|2021: Major League Minimum|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2015
MLB Debut: 8/4/2019
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2027
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 8/4/2019
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2019, 2020, 2021)
MLB Service Time: 0.158
|June 10, 2015: Drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 18th round, 536th overall pick; signed on June 14.
November 20, 2018: Contract purchased by the Miami Marlins.
December 20, 2019: Designated for assignment by the Miami Marlins.
January 6, 2020: Traded by the Miami Marlins to the Los Angeles Angels for Jose Estrada.
March 31, 2021: Designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels.
April 5, 2021: Traded by the Los Angeles Angels to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
November 5, 2021: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.