Max Kepler

Last updated

Max Kepler
Max Kepler Spring 2016.jpg
Kepler with the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins – No. 26
Outfielder
Born: (1993-02-10) February 10, 1993 (age 26)
Berlin, Germany
Bats: LeftThrows: Left
MLB debut
September 27, 2015, for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
(through 2018 season)
Batting average .233
Home runs 56
Runs batted in 190
Teams

Maximilian Kepler-Różycki (born February 10, 1993) is a German professional baseball outfielder for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2015. Before signing with the Twins, he played for Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg of Bundesliga. He is left-handed.

Baseball in Germany started in 1936, with the first official baseball game being played at the 1936 Olympics. After World War II, baseball was popularized by American soldiers who were stationed in Germany. Today, baseball is a minor sport in Germany, although the country is still home to one of Europe's biggest baseball communities, with around 30,000 active players. The national governing body is the Deutscher Baseball und Softball Verband, and the highest baseball league is the 1. Baseball Bundesliga. Max Kepler is currently the only German-developed player in Major League Baseball.

Professional baseball is played in leagues throughout the world. In these leagues and associated farm teams, baseball players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system.

An outfielder is a person playing in one of the three defensive positions in baseball or softball, farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. An outfielder's duty is to try to catch long fly balls before they hit the ground or to quickly catch or retrieve and return to the infield any other balls entering the outfield. Outfielders normally play behind the six other members of the defense who play in or near the infield.

Contents

Early life

Kepler was born in Berlin, Germany. His parents, Kathy Kepler and Marek Różycki, were both professional ballet dancers; they met when they performed in the same ballet company in Berlin. [1] His mother is from San Antonio, Texas, [2] while his father is from Poland. He has one sister. [1] Kepler is 1.92 metres (6 ft 4 in) tall [2] and weighs 98 kilograms (216 lb). [3]

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,723,914 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which is, with 6,004,857 (2015) inhabitants and an area of 30,370 square km, Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Ballet dancer person who practices the art of ballet

A ballet dancer is a person who practices the art of classical ballet. Both females and males can practice ballet; however, dancers have a strict hierarchy and strict gender roles. They rely on years of extensive training and proper technique to become a part of professional companies. Ballet dancers are at a high risk of injury due to the demanding technique of ballet.

At the age of six, Kepler started baseball at the Little League level with the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin. [4] Though he received a scholarship at age seven to the Steffi Graf Tennis Foundation, [1] he decided he preferred baseball. [4] Kepler attended John F. Kennedy School, [2] and the St. Emmeram Academy in Regensburg in 2008, where he was able to train in baseball more than the average American teenager. [5] [6] He played association football with Hertha BSC, [2] and played baseball for Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg of Bundesliga, the highest baseball league in Germany. [2] [7]

Steffi Graf German tennis player

Stefanie Maria "Steffi" Graf is a German former professional tennis player. She was ranked world No. 1 and won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Her 22 singles titles put her second on the list of major wins in the female competition since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968 and is third all-time behind Margaret Court (24) and Serena Williams (23). In 1988, she became the only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam tournament at least four times.

Regensburg Place in Bavaria, Germany

Regensburg is a city in south-east Germany, at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen rivers. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, Regensburg is the fourth-largest city in the State of Bavaria after Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg. The city is the political, economic and cultural centre and capital of the Upper Palatinate.

Minnesota Twins

Andy Johnson, an international scout working for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB), first noticed Kepler when he played in a junior national tournament at the age of 14. [1] At the age of 16, he signed with the Twins in 2009 for US$800,000, the largest signing bonus given by an MLB franchise to a European-born player. [2] [5] Kepler made his American debut in the Rookie-level in 2010 Gulf Coast League (GCL) with the GCL Twins. He was promoted to the Elizabethton Twins of the Rookie-Advanced Appalachian League in 2011. He was assigned to Elizabethton for the 2012 season. [8] An elbow injury delayed the start of Kepler's 2013 season, when he was assigned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League. [9] Following the regular season, the Twins assigned Kepler to the Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. [10]

Minnesota Twins Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

The Minnesota Twins are an American professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team competes in the Central division of the American League (AL), and is named after the Twin Cities area comprising Minneapolis and St. Paul. The franchise won the World Series in 1924 as the Washington Senators, and in 1987 and 1991 as the Twins. The franchise moved from Washington, D.C. to Minnesota for the start of the 1961 season.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

A signing bonus or sign-on bonus is a sum of money paid to a new employee by a company as an incentive to join that company. They are often given as a way of making a compensation package more attractive to the employee. It also lowers the risk to the company as it is a one-time payment; for example, if the employee does not meet expectations, the company has not committed to a higher salary. Signing bonuses are often used in professional sports, and to recruit graduates into their first jobs.

After the 2013 season, the Twins added Kepler to their 40-man roster and he was invited to spring training. [11] Kepler played for the Fort Myers Miracle of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in 2014, and opened the 2015 season with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Class AA Southern League. [12] Kepler was selected to represent the Twins at the 2015 All-Star Futures Game, [13] though a sore shoulder prevented him from playing. [14] Kepler finished the 2015 season with a .327 batting average, nine home runs and 18 stolen bases. He was named Southern League Player of the Year. [15]

The Fort Myers Miracle is the Class A Advanced Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball club, based in Fort Myers, Florida. Home games are played at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Hammond Stadium, which has a capacity of 7,500, and opened in 1991. The park is also used as the Minnesota Twins' spring training facility. Prior to Twins Spring training and the 2014 Florida State League season, Phase I of a two-part renovation was completed with the addition of an outfield boardwalk. The second phase of the renovation, which includes new sky suites, concessions, wider concourses and new offices for the Miracle staff, was completed before Spring training in 2015. Due to the start of construction on Phase II in August 2014, the Miracle played the final 10 home dates, including playoffs, at JetBlue Park.

Florida State League baseball league in Florida, USA; Class A-Advanced minor league

The Florida State League is a Minor League Baseball league based in the state of Florida. It is one of three leagues currently classified as Class A-Advanced, the third highest classification of minor leagues. Each team in the league is affiliated with a Major League Baseball team, and most play in their affiliate's spring training facility.

The Chattanooga Lookouts are a Minor League Baseball team of the Southern League and the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. They are located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and are named for nearby Lookout Mountain. The team plays its home games at AT&T Field which opened in 2000 and seats 6,340 fans. They previously played at Engel Stadium from 1930 through 1999, with a one-year break in Montgomery, Alabama's Cramton Bowl in 1943.

The Twins promoted Kepler to the major leagues on September 21, 2015 the night after the Lookouts won the Southern League championship. [16] He made his major league debut on September 27, 2015 and recorded his first hit on October 4, 2015. [17] After Donald Lutz, Kepler is the second German-developed player to play in the modern Major Leagues. [18]

Donald Thomas-Andrew Lutz is an American-German former professional baseball first baseman / leftfielder. He signed with the Reds as a non-drafted amateur free agent in 2007. Despite starting his baseball career in his teenage years, and in Germany, Lutz first visited Cincinnati's spring training camp, reached Class AA and was placed on the Reds 40-man roster in 2012.

The Twins assigned Kepler to the Rochester Red Wings of the Class AAA International League to start the 2016 season. [19] After playing in two games for Rochester, the Twins promoted him to the major leagues to replace the injured Danny Santana on April 10, 2016. [20] Fifteen days later, Kepler was optioned to Rochester. [21] On June 1, 2016 Kepler was recalled to replace the injured Miguel Sanó, and he began getting regular starts for the Twins in right field. The next day, Kepler had his first multi-hit game, and on June 12, Kepler swatted his first major league home run, a walk-off three-run shot in the 10th inning off of Matt Barnes of the Boston Red Sox. [22] On August 1 against the Cleveland Indians, Kepler became the first European-born MLB player to hit three home runs in one game and the 5th Twins player to do so after Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Justin Morneau. [23] On August 8, 2016 Kepler was named co-American League Player of the Week, his first time receiving that honor, alongside teammate Joe Mauer. [24]

In 2017, as an everyday outfielder for the Twins, he set career highs with 147 games, an average of .243, and 19 home runs with 69 RBI.

In 2018, Kepler had a batting average of .224, hit 20 home runs, with 58 RBI, in 156 games. His 20 home runs and 156 games played were both career highs.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Twins' Kepler-Rozycki is in his element | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Max Kepler-Rozycki: "Das ist wie bei der Bundeswehr" :: Homepage – Sport – Das MZ-Samstagsinterview :: Mittelbayerische Zeitung" (in German). www.mittelbayerische.de. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  3. "B.Z.-Besuch beim Berliner Baseball-Nachwuchsstar Max Kepler-Rozycki in Florida : Wunderkind vermisst die Kälte und die S-Bahn – B.Z. Berlin" (in German). Bz-berlin.de. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  4. 1 2 ZEIT ONLINE GmbH, Hamburg, Germany (August 13, 2010). "Baseball: Die Ballet-Ikone mit Baseball-Stollen | Sport | ZEIT ONLINE" (in German). Zeit.de. Retrieved July 26, 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. 1 2 "Schlagen für die große Baseball-Zukunft :: Homepage – Sport – Buchbinder Legionäre – Legionäre News :: Mittelbayerische Zeitung" (in German). www.mittelbayerische.de. January 26, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  6. Smith, Cameron (July 7, 2009). "Baseball Insider – The Top European Prospect Ever". Voices.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  7. "European Top Prospect Max Kepler-Rozycki to sign with Minnesota Twins – Europeans in the USA, News – German Baseball Leagues – Mister Baseball". Mister-baseball.com. July 4, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  8. Davis, Danny. "Relearning game, nuturing talent in Tennessee". Star Tribune. StarTribune.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  9. "Chart: Update on injuries to Twins' prospects". Star Tribune. April 20, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  10. "Athletic Kepler boasts broad skill set". MLB.com. December 30, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  11. Berardino, Mike (November 20, 2013). "Minnesota Twins add Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco to 40-man roster". TwinCities.com. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  12. Paschall, David (April 7, 2015). "Half of Twins' top 10 prospects opening with Chattanooga Lookouts". Chattanooga Times Free Press . Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  13. "Twins Jose Berrios, Max Kepler in Futures Game". MLB.com. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  14. "Injured Max Kepler to miss Futures Game". MLB.com. July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  15. "Lookouts Max Kepler Named Southern League Player Of The Year". The Chattanoogan. September 4, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  16. Bollinger, Rhett (September 21, 2015). "Twins call up German-born Kepler for stretch run: Recently named Southern League MVP, outfielder ranks as club's No. 6 prospect". MLB.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  17. Heneghan, Kelsie (February 9, 2016). "Kepler rides roller coaster to Minnesota: Twins prospect deals with disappointment, playoffs before first callup". MiLB.com. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  18. Sheldon, Mark (May 1, 2013). "Lutz gets first big league start in finale". MLB.com. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  19. Kraft, Alex (March 25, 2016). "Twins option Kepler to Triple-A Rochester: Third-ranked prospect heads to International League for first time". MiLB.com. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  20. Berardino, Mike (April 10, 2016). "Minnesota Twins: Top position prospect Max Kepler gets a surprise call". Pioneer Press. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  21. "Twins send top prospect Byron Buxton, batting .156, to minors". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  22. Miller, Phil (June 12, 2016). "Kepler's first career home run is a walkoff winner over Boston". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  23. Twins vs. Indians - Game Recap - August 1, 2016 - ESPN
  24. Max Kepler, Joe Mauer are Players of the Week | MLB.com