Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, May 31, 2012 11:00 AM Comments: 0
Lakewood BlueClaws first baseman Kelly Dugan has been somewhat forgotten by many people that follow prospects throughout the minor leagues.
A flurry of physical setbacks have prevented the Phillies’ top selection from the 2009 MLB amateur draft (2nd round, 75th pick overall) from progressing through the system with any type of commanding push.
This year, however, Kelly, the son of film director Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy), hopes to make enough of a splash in the Class A South Atlantic League to rekindle some of the excitement that surrounded him when he was originally selected by the Phils.
The level of instant popularity that came Dugan’s way upon joining the Phillies organization could have been credited to an image taken on draft day from the set of his father’s film, Grown Ups, which starred Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade. With the closely knit star power involved and the collection of widely-known actors all sporting Phillies caps, fans and media alike were ready to see this Hollywood endorsed ballplayer make an impact in the pros.
Unfortunately for the 21-year-old Dugan, injuries have hindered his progress.
In 2010, Dugan dealt with a staph infection after being hit with a batted ball during batting practice, which resulted in him missing a large chunk of the season. The history of disabled list stints left Dugan in disbelief, like last month when he turned his left ankle badly while stepping on first base and fielding a throw on a close play. The damage to the ankle was only a sprain, despite awful looking bruises and substantial swelling. Dugan was grateful for only needing to miss about two weeks of action with his latest ailment.
“When you get injured, you can’t really move up,” Dugan told me recently. “You need to take at bats at each level and you have to show that you can produce at the level before they’re going to move you up, so you just end up repeating. It was frustrating, but it just makes me grateful that I can go out and play right now.” Continue reading Dugan becoming Lakewood’s offensive star