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Kellington selected with first pick of 4th round in MLB Draft

Pittsburgh makes former U-32 star the highest Vermont high school player ever picked in the June MLB Draft
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 8:41 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Owen Kellington has made history. The former U-32 standout was taken with the first pick in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates today, the highest a Vermont high school player has been taken in the MLB Draft since the early 1980s.

Last month, Kellington wrapped up a stellar high school career by leading U-32 to the Division Two state championship, and then made two appearances for the Vermont Lake Monsters around traveling to North Carolina at the end of last month for the MLB Draft Combine.

With a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a nasty curveball, Kellington has the tools that have caught the attention of Major League clubs. The first pick of the fourth round is the 102 pick overall, in a draft that goes twenty rounds. It’s a testament to just how high teams in the league thought of Kellington.

He’s the highest pick for a Vermont high school player ever in the June MLB draft according to Bruce Bosley of the Vermont Baseball Coaches Association. Previously, LHP Dale Halvorson of Essex High and Essex Junction was taken in the fifth round by Montreal, 106th overall, in the 1975 June Draft.

Several Vermont products were taken in high rounds of the former MLB January Secondary Draft including LHP Mike Rochford of South Burlington, selected first by the Red Sox in the 1982 January Draft, according to Bosley.

Owen had a commit to play for the University of Connecticut, but when speaking with Channel Three Sports earlier this afternoon, Kellington told me that he will be signing with Pittsburgh and moving forward with his professional career. MLB.com has the approximate value of the signing bonus for that first slot in the fourth round valued at over $571,000.

Kellington says the first stop on his pro career will likely be at the Pirates spring training facility in Bradenton, Florida before moving on to the minor leagues. Pittsburgh’s Low-A minor league franchise also plays out of the same stadium in Bradenton.

Due to all the conversations he had been having with teams, Kellington was pretty confident he would be hearing his name early on in the MLB Draft, but that doesn’t make the moment and the accomplishment any less memorable.

“It means everything, especially to be around some of my closest friends while my name was called, while the draft was happening, just met a lot.

My family’s been supporting me, my friends have supported me, my teammates, my coaches, so just everything going into it has made this possible today.

All my hard work is paying off and you can see that in where I got drafted and who I was drafted by. It’s just an example that baseball doesn’t have to come from the big states like Florida and Texas and California, you can come from different places as long as the work’s put in.

I’ve dreamt of being a professional baseball player my whole life, ever since I was little, and to see it become a reality is really cool.”

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