A second round pick by the Twins out of Winthrop University in 2005, Kevin quickly moved up to Beloit after 7.2 innings at Elizabethton where he allowed only 2 hits and 1 run with 15K/0BB. At Beloit, Kevin compiled a 3-2 record with a 2.24 era in 64.1 innings with 42 hits, 18 runs (16 earned) and 69K/8BB.
Last season Kevin began at Ft. Myers where he and Matt Garza were likely the top two pitchers in the league until each was promoted. Kevin had a 4-2 record with a 1.01 era in 14 starts with 52 hits, 19 runs (10 earned) and 99K/9BB in 89.1 innings, a remarkable 0.907BB/9ip. Following his starting the FSL All-Star game in which he pitched one inning with 3 strikeouts on 9 pitches, Kevin moved up to New Britain where he continued his excellence with a 4-2 record in 59.1 innings with a 3.19 era and 50 hits, 23 runs (21 earned) and 52K/13BB.
Kevin’s season at New Britain ended early as he joined Team USA for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Cuba. Kevin recently talked about his experience in a Q&A on May 18th with Seth Stohs (sethspeaks.net), including his being the starting pitcher in the championship game against host Cuba in front of 45,000 Cubans including Raul Castro. Kevin left the game after 5 innings with a 5-1 lead in a game the US eventually won, 8-5. Kevin later returned to get a key win for Rochester in the International League championship series against Toledo.
This week Kevin made one start for the Red Wings, pitching 7.2 innings with 7 hits, 1 run and 6K/1BB. For the season, Kevin has a 4-2 record in 49.1 innings with an outstanding 1.46 era, system leading 0.69 WHIP and 31 hits, 9 runs (8 earned) and 44K/3BB for a remarkable 0.547 BB/9ip and 1.294 Dominance Ratio. Last season I had Kevin rated as the second best pitcher in the system although his final numbers were nearly identical to the leader, Matt Garza. This season Kevin is clearly performing at a level without equal (except possibly one young man pitching at Single-A Beloit) in the Twins system.
If you go to Seth’s site and read a most interesting discussion with Kevin, you will learn that he is a special young man. He talks about his outlook on his profession, his take on spring training and his thoughts about being left off previous ’top prospect’ lists because he doesn’t throw as hard as others. The way Kevin is pitching his prospect status doesn’t matter because he won’t be one much longer as his time to take that final step has to be very close. This is one young man who likely will be one of Major League Baseball’s top pitchers for the next decade, plus.