SAM KENNELLY, FIRST BASEMAN
Born: January 9, 1996
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 180
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2012, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Australia
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates signed Kennelly at age 16.  The $225,000 bonus he received was relatively large for an Australian signing.  Kennelly played in Australia and in tournament ball before signing.  The Pirates sent him back to the Australian Baseball League after he signed.  He appears to be more of an offense-oriented infielder and may not have the range to stick at short.

2014
R:  284/388/343, 102 AB, 6 2B, 16 BB, 17 K, 0-2 SB

Kennelly had a very solid season in the GCL.  He played primarily at second, with half a dozen games at short.  His playing time was somewhat limited at first, as the Pirates showed more interest in Nelson Jorge, but his playing time increased in August as he proved to be drastically more advanced with the bat than Jorge and also played better in the field.  For the month, Kennelly batted 321/422/377.  He showed especially good command of the strike zone.

2015
R:  258/309/346, 159 AB, 7 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 11 BB, 37 K, 1-2 SB

Despite the good season Kennelly had in 2014, the Pirates sent him back to the GCL.  For some reason, he served as the primary first baseman, with Jhoan Herrera usually as the DH.  Kennelly also saw some time at third.  He took a step backward at the plate, with his BB:K ratio going from excellent in 2014 to bad in 2015.

2016
R:  207/303/310, 58 AB, 2 HR, 8 BB, 13 K, 2-3 SB
R+:  138/200/154, 65 AB, 1 2B, 1 BB, 12 K

Kennelly opened the season at Bristol, where he saw time at first and third.  He appears to have been overmatched at the plate and the Pirates sent him back to the GCL.  He played strictly at first there and didn’t hit as well as in the past.

Kennelly’s days as a shortstop appear to be over and his severe struggles at Bristol aren’t a good sign, either.  If he’s back in 2017, he could get another shot at Bristol.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2017: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $225,000
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
July 12, 2012: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.

  • Hopefully he just needs to get used to his new throwing motion and repeating the delivery. This is his first year trying it out. Getting late in the season with a new delivery and maybe getting a little tired / sloppy. Hopefully it clicks over the offseason and into next year.

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