Yorkton R. Miller’s Midget ‘AA’ Cardinals veteran third year middle infielder/pitcher Mason Kelley was recently named the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League’s Boston Pizza Player of the Week, beating out Melville’s Kyle Rathgeber for the week three honours.
I actually didn’t find out until today (Sunday), but it feels pretty good (to win),” offered the speedy Kelley in an interview following his teams’ 14-4 win over Weyburn. “I’ve been working out pretty hard all winter towards the season so it’s nice to see that work pay off.”
Kelley, a native of Saskatoon but now residing in Yorkton, grabbed the Player of the Week award with a 7-for-8 performance at the plate throughout the week that led to picking up six RBIs.
Kelley also opened up the collective SPBL eyes by swiping four bases and scoring four runs in his award winning week.
In addition to the sparkling offensive numbers, Kelley, who has been playing injured all season, also pitched three scoreless innings in which he surrendered just one hit and one walk while striking out two to solidify his spot as the SPBL ‘AA’ Boston Pizza Player of the Week; an impressive outing at any point, but even more so with the injuries that he has been battling. “I have a torn rotator cuff and tendonitis all throughout my right arm,” mentioned Kelley, continuing, “It’s tough battling through it but I’ve worked on it all throughout the winter.”
Injured or not, Kelley has been a key cog in the Cardinals offence so far this season and the brass at the SPBL headquarters were not the only ones to notice that fact.
His coaches, Tony Black and Stefan Bymak, have also been impressed with his baseball ability. “He’s a very effective offensive player and when he gets on the mound he’s a very effective pitcher as well,” said Midget Cardinals head coach Tony Black. “He’s having a real good season right now and has been very impressive. We’ll lose him next year unfortunately but he’s done well so far this year and he’s a good all-around ball player.”
Black’s assistant coach Stefan Bymak echoed the head coach’s comments, but also felt the need to praise Kelley’s speed on the base paths, saying, “He (Kelley) runs really well.
“He puts a lot of pressure on the other team and their pitcher is always preoccupied with him when he’s on base. His speed puts a lot of pressure on their defence and he is definitely an asset to the team.”
Both Bymak and Black also touched on how Kelley is a solid leader on the team, both on the bench and in the field and that the Player of the Week award came as no surprise to either of them.