Cubs’ hot prospect has connection to Troy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 31, 2001

Sports Editor

David Kelton, a third baseman for the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, has a Troy connection.

Kelton is the son of Billy Wayne Kelton, who played football for Troy State University in the late 60s and early 70s, and the former Ann Teal, a graduate of Charles Henderson High School.

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The 6-foot-5, 205 pounder was born in 1979 and drafted by the Chicago Cubs organization in the second round of the 1998 amateur draft straight out of Troup High School in Lagrange, Ga.

Kelton is considered to be one of the Cubs’ top prospects and was recently the spotlight of a feature article in Baseball America.

So far in the Minors Kelton’s resume is impressive. This season for West Tennessee Kelton has proven himself to be one of the Southern League’s top sluggers. He hinted at his prowess with a bat prior to the season when he out-homered the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa in a home run derby for charity.

Yes, that Sammy Sosa.

Kelton is currently hitting .302 and has 57 hits to his credit this season, leading the Diamond Jax in that category. He’s tied for the lead in home runs (10) and leads the team in RBIs (35) and slugging percentage (.519).

In the Southern League Kelton is listed as the eighth best batter behind Tennessee’s Ryan Fleming. He’s second in the league in RBIs and is tied in several other top ten League batting categories.

Kelton is just one of a few Minor League prospects the Chicago organization will be looking to in the future. According to The Sporting News the "Cubs’ farm system looks like it’s ready to bloom"

and that "much of the credit goes to good scouting and the leadership of assistant general manager Jim Hendry."

Hendry has overseen the Cubs’ draft picks since 1996.

Possible future Cubs not only include Kelton, but center fielder Corey Patterson, first baseman Hee Seop Choi, shortstop Jason Smith and pitchers Will Ohman and Carlos Zambrano, all currently with Class AAA Iowa.

Along with Kelton at West Tennessee, the Cubs like infielder Bobby Hill, catcher Jeff Goldbach and pitchers Juan Cruz and Ben Christensen. Hill is third on the team in batting average (.333) and Cruz currently has a 4-1 record in just eight starts and leads the team in strike outs with 54.

For more information on Kelton, as well as the Diamond Jaxx, check out or, through the Chicago Cubs’ home page at