Here is what the AJC wrote about the Braves’ selection of 1991:
When Arizona State outfielder Mike Kelly was asked why he was excited about being drafted by the Braves, his response was a familiar one.
"Atlanta [Stadium] is supposed to be a hitter's paradise," he said.
Kelly was the No. 2 pick in Monday's amateur draft behind left- handed pitcher Brien Taylor, taken by the New York Yankees. The right-handed hitter batted .373 with 15 home runs, 56 RBIs and 23 stolen bases this season as a junior. His talent has been compared with that of Pittsburgh's Barry Bonds, who also played at Arizona State.
"Barry is one of the best hitters around," said Braves director of scouting Chuck LaMar, who was the Pirates' director of minor-league operations for two years before coming to Atlanta this season. "But I would say Mike runs as well and has more power, and he is a pure center fielder."
The Braves would like to start Kelly, whose family lives in Los Alamitos, Calif., at Class AA Greenville. But first they must sign him. There have been reports he wants more than $700,000 as a signing bonus.
Said Kelly, "I don't know where those figures came from. I wanted to wait until I saw where I was drafted before I started thinking about what I wanted."
Kelly, who will be represented by his father in contract talks, said he does not want to get bogged down in negotiations.
"I want to start playing," he said.
LaMar echoed those thoughts.
"The quicker we sign him, the faster he gets into the system and he starts to learn new things," he said. "I met with his mom, dad and the boy. He wants to be an Atlanta Brave. We will get it done."
The Braves signed Kelly a month after the draft to a $575,000 signing bonus.