Kelly (Portland, Ore. / Westview HS) was selected in the 20th round, the 603rd overall pick, by the St. Louis Cardinals. The junior right-handed pitcher finished the season with a 5-0 career record and a 3.26 ERA while pitching out of the bullpen in 55 games. In 2018, he set career personal bests in ERA (3.26), wins (4), appearances (29), innings pitched (47), strikeouts (53) and batting average against (.220). Kelly’s 29 appearances are tied for the 10th most in a single season.
Kelly is the 31st Oregon pitcher picked in the MLB Draft since the sport returned in 2009, and the second this year. The Ducks have had multiple pitchers picked in every draft since the program returned. Kelly is the second Duck ever drafted by St. Louis, joining shortstop J.J. Altobelli who the Cardinals selected in the 18th round in 2013.
Soderman (San Ramon, Calif. / College of San Mateo) was picked in the 22nd round, the 652nd overall pick, by the Atlanta Braves. The junior college transfer batted .225 in 2018 with one home run and 17 RBI. He is just the second Duck ever drafted by Atlanta, joining Josh Graham who was a fourth round pick in 2016. Soderman is also the sixth Oregon catcher drafted all-time and the fourth in the modern era. He joins Tim Susnara (2017), Jack Marder (2011), Eddie Rodriguez (2010) and Dale Ehler (1965 and 1966).
Kasser (Brea, Calif. / Brea Olinda HS) was picked in the 30th round, the 902nd overall pick, by the Kansas City Royals. The Ducks’ four-year letterman finished his career with a .299 batting average and 178 hits, fifth-most all-time at Oregon, in 185 games. In addition to games played, Kasser ranks in the top 10 all-time at Oregon in multi-hit games (5th), walks (5th), at-bats (6th), runs (7th), games started (8th) and multi-RBI games (10th). A first-team All-Pac-12 pick as a junior and honorable mention selection as a senior, Kasser is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. He set a modern-era record batting .352 in 2017 before hitting .278 as a senior.
Kasser is the 12th Oregon infielder drafted in the history of the program, and just the fifth in the modern era. During his career he started games at all four infield positions with 56 starts at second base, 52 at first base, 29 at shortstop and 13 at third base. He finished his career starting 110 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in school history.
The three selections on Wednesday gave Oregon four draft picks in the 2018 MLB Draft. Junior right-handed pitcher Matt Mercer was selected in the fifth round on Tuesday. The Ducks have now had 48 players drafted since 2009 with a total of 69 Ducks drafted all-time.