Magazine Names ASU's Kelly College Player of the Year

From Associated Press

Arizona State sophomore outfielder Mike Kelly was selected Thursday as Player of the Year by Baseball America magazine.

Kelly, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound graduate of Los Alamitos High School, hit .376 with 21 homers and 82 runs batted in.

"Mike Kelly may be as good a player as any who has come out of Arizona State, and they have had some terrific players through the years," said Allan Simpson, Baseball America's editor. "I have no doubt that if he were eligible this year, he'd be the No. 1 selection in the (major league player) draft."

Kelly, however, said he was in no rush to become a professional. "I am enjoying myself," he said. "I'm having the best time of my life."

Kelly has been compared with Cincinnati star Eric Davis and former Arizona State greats such as Reggie Jackson, Rick Monday and Barry Bonds.

"It's a tremendous honor having people think that highly of me," Kelly said. "I really don't try to copy them. . . . I just try to play my own game."

In a news release announcing Kelly's selection, Arizona State Coach Jim Brock said: "College baseball rarely has a complete player, one who is the very best in every area. Mike Kelly is the closest I've seen to that in a long time. He's the best I've ever had, and he's the best I ever hope to have."

Kelly also was named to the All-District 8 first team Thursday. Cal State Fullerton second baseman Mate Borgogno and UC Irvine pitcher Ken Whitworth were second-team selections.

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