Wednesday, November 28, 2012

John Shelby Signed By Chicago White Sox

Photo courtesy of Paul Baillargeon
Hello all!  More good news coming from the Grizzlies today.  Just two days after reliever Logan Mahon signed with the Baltimore Orioles, outfielder John Shelby has signed with the Chicago White Sox.   Congrats to 'T'!

Shelby heads back to the organization that drafted him in the 5th round in 2006.  In fact, John spent 2006-2010 in the White Sox farm system, making it to Double-A Birmingham.  He put up outsanding #'s @ every stop in the White Sox system until he reached Double-A and his production dipped slightly, which prompted his move to the Rays organization and time with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham for the 2011 season.

It's great to see John get back to affiliated ball and it's real nice to see two guys from the 2012 team get picked up in the same week.  The pattern is both Logan and John were drafted rather early and both guys have previous affiliated experience, with Shelby having much more than Logan.  Shelby was on track to a big league career in his early 20's, he was a top-notch prospect and a big piece of the White Sox organization, but now he's going to have to prove to people that he can still play at a really high level at the age of 27 (turns 28 in August). 

Photo courtesy of Frank Orris
Shelby struggled early in the 2012 season for the Grizzlies, which came as a shock to everyone.  He picked it up in the second half of the season and finished strong.  He was a big reason the Grizzlies made a late season push and got into the playoffs.  I recall a two HR game for Shelby @ Florence when he started to turn the corner and looked locked in @ the plate.  It was also a game that he played in front of family and friends since it was in Florence, KY and he's from Lexington.  Below are the radio highlights from Shelby's 2 HR game @ Florence. 

John Shelby Radio Highlights @ Florence

Photo courtesy of Frank Orris
I know John will work his tail off and take advantage of this opportunity.  Personally, the thing I was most impressed about from John Shelby in 2012 was the kind of person he was on and off the field.  As the broadcaster, you meet different personalities, some good and some bad.  John was one of the great guys in the game..always said hi, always had a smile on his face..a great teammate..and of course, a heck of a talent.  He put on displays in batting practice that many around the organization had never seen before.  I recall Grizzlies pitching coach Randy Martz (former MLB player) say to me on numerous occasions around the cage during BP.."Adam, this kid has big league power."  Martz doesn't get amazed to often, but he often times was while watching John hit.

I texted back and forth with Shelby earlier today and he told me he still doesn't know where they will send him.  It most likely depends on how well he does in spring training.  It looks like at the very least he will report to Double-A and if he performs well in spring training he could get a Triple-A shot out of the gate. 

Everyone with the Grizzlies is extremely excited for John Shelby.  I'll continue to follow his career and I hope he gets a shot in the big leagues one day soon!

       -Voice of the Grizzlies, Adam Young

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