Kelly signs with Red Sox; spurns Tennessee offer

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox signed their first-round draft pick Casey Kelly, an 18-year-old pitcher-infielder.

Team officials said Thursday that Kelly will be assigned to the Rookie League Gulf Coast Red Sox.

The recent high school graduate from Sarasota, Fla., hit .473 (44-for-93) as a senior with 13 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 11 steals. He had 77 strikeouts and walked 12 in 66 innings.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said Kelly will start his minor league career playing shortstop and will eventually be exposed to pitching. The 6-foot-4 Kelly had committed to play football and baseball at Tennessee before signing with Boston.

The Boston Red Sox also signed 18-year-old shortstop Derrik Gibson, the club's second-round draft pick.