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Top Prospect Alert

David Kelton -- By Robert Sherry

A former second-round pick in the 1998 draft, this 19-year-old right-handed batter had a good 1999 season on a very talented Lansing team. For the Lugnuts, Kelton batted .269 in 509 AB (124 G) with 13 HR, 68 RBI, 17 2B, 3 3B, 75 R, 39 BB, 121 SO, and 22 SB in 31 attempts. He was teammates with other future stars Hee Seop Choi and Corey Patterson.

At 6-foot-2 and about 190 pounds, David needs to improve his selection at the plate and cut down on the strikeouts. By doing so and as he grows, I think you will see him become a 20+-homer hitter. In 1998, Kelton was an All Star in the Arizona League, where he batted .265 in 181 AB with 6 HR, 29 RBI, 7 2B, 5 3B, 39 R, 23 BB, 58 SO, and 16 SB in 19 attempts. In the field, this third baseman had problems on throws at the beginning of the 1999 season which were probably due to coming off shoulder surgery. He has the agility to make all of the plays and more expected from someone at his position.

Kelton should have a good 2000 at Daytona, where he will start to put it all together. If he can cut the strikeouts down to 100 and increase the walks total to somewhere between 60 and 70, he should finally be the one to take control of the revolving door that the Cubs have had at the hot corner. Look for him to be a starter around Opening Day 2003.


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