The Oregon baseball team will lose two pitchers early to the professional ranks.
After Matt Mercer signed with Arizona on Wednesday, Parker Kelly confirmed to The Register-Guard that he would sign with St. Louis on Saturday.
Kelly, who was taken in the 20th round by the Cardinals last week, will join Mercer in skipping his senior season with the Ducks.
“It is never an easy decision, but with an organization like St. Louis, that made it easy to start my pro career,” said Kelly, who will likely be sent to play for Johnson City(Tenn.) in the rookie-level Appalachian League. “It was a dream come true to get drafted by a first-class organization that my brother plays for.”
Kelly’s brother Carson committed to Oregon out of high school but signed with St. Louis after he was drafted in the second round in 2012. Carson Kelly played 12 games for the Cardinals this season before being sent down to Triple A.
“He was the first to call me when I was drafted and he was excited for me to start my pro career,” Parker Kelly said. “It is awesome because we took different paths but are headed toward the same goal. He’s achieved it and I want to play in the big leagues. I know the route he took and have seen a lot of the ballparks I will play in.”
Kelly went 4-0 with three saves and a 3.26 ERA in 29 relief appearances this season.
Mercer, who was 5-7 with a 4.16 ERA in 15 starts as a junior, received a signing bonus of $314,800 from the Diamondbacks after being picked in the fifth round, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.
Mercer is working out at Arizona’s spring-training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., and will pitch one game for the Diamondbacks’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League before joining the Hillsboro Hops later this month. He will return to PK Park with the Hops on July 7-9. Hillsboro also visits the Emeralds on Aug. 14-16.
Oregon junior catcher Ray Soderman, who hit .225 with one homer and 17 RBIs, was drafted in the 22nd round by Atlanta. Soderman has the option to sign with the Braves or return for his senior season.
Senior second baseman Kyle Kasser signed with Kansas City after being drafted in the 30th round.