On Wednesday evening, the San Diego Padres will send another rookie to the mound, one who has yet to lose this season.
Way back on March 30th, San Diego Padres fans were introduced to the mesmerizing delivery of Joey Lucchesi and his now famous “churve.” He gave up three runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. The excitement over Lucchesi took off and has proven worthwhile over the course of his rookie season. On Wednesday, another rookie will make his major league debut against the Brewers, Brett Kennedy.
Kennedy (just turned 24 on August 4th) received only one Division I offer out of high school, taking the offer and completing a successful career with the Fordham Rams. Across 50 appearances (30 starts), Kennedy posted a 15-17 record, 3.73 ERA, and finished his career with 218 strikeouts, second-most in school history, at the time.
After a dominant junior season, the Padres used an 11th-round pick on Kennedy in the 2015 MLB draft.
Since entering the system, Kennedy has moved up the ladder, putting up consistent numbers at each stop along the way. As the level of competition has increased, Kennedy’s success has increased, resulting in quite the impressive 2018 season for the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas.
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Kennedy started 16 games this season, posting a perfect 10-0 record with a 2.72 earned run average. Pitching in an extremely hitter-friendly league (Pacific Coast League), Kennedy has recorded the lowest home run rate of his career (0.60 HR/9) while inducing the highest groundball rate of his career (52.6%).
Brett Kennedy is the type of player that fans can’t help but have respect for. You won’t find him on any top prospect list. Check out Baseball America, FanGraphs, MinorLeagueBall.com, MLB Pipeline, or any other major source that evaluates and ranks prospects. Brett Kennedy’s name doesn’t show up.
The fastball velocity isn’t intimidating (averages 90-92), his slider is good but nothing spectacular, and his changeup has been described as “just ok.” Yet he has done nothing but produce at each and every level of the minor leagues. Kennedy is a major league ready pitcher who has gone above and beyond at earning this chance.
Leave the office a little early on Wednesday and make sure you are home to catch Kennedy make his major league debut. First pitch from Milwaukee is scheduled for 5:10 pm (PT).