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Red Sox's Casey Kelly strikes out four against Rays

The top Boston Red Sox prospect, 20-year-old Casey Kelly, made an impressive showing last night in the nationally televised spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Sarasota native recorded 4 strike-outs and allowed four hits, two runs, and two walks in three innings in front of his home crowd at the Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. Doing his off-season training at IMG Academy, the pitcher/short-stop made the transition to full time pitcher and tailored his IMG Academy Athletic & Personal Development programsprogram to fit his pitching needs. We had time to ask him a few questions about his impressive performance the following day...

How were your nerves before the game? And after?

I was a little nervous before the game, but I was anxious more than anything, I just wanted to get out there and throw the ball. It was a lot of fun being at that park so close to my hometown (Sarasota) and pitching against such high level competition.

You split time between SS and pitcher last year, now exclusively pitching...is this change final?

I sat down with my family and inner circle during the off-season and weighed the options. We realized that my projections were better as a pitcher; I'd be able to make an impact a lot quicker and play for a lot longer, so I decided to focus on pitching all the way.

How did you alter your training at IMG once you decided on pitching?

Last year Corey (Stenstrup) and I worked out and did a lot of both, but this year was different because I was trying to be a pitcher all year. We did a lot of core work, because that's what you use most in pitching, lots of leg work, driving motions, squats, and getting my quick-twitch muscles tuned up.

What's in the future for you?

I'll start out playing AA and go from there. I'll be on a pitch count the first part of the season to limit my innings to see how my body holds up, just because I've never been through this long of a season. I'm gonna keep working hard and see what happens from there.

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