Oct 1, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays center fielderKevin Kiermaier
(39) singles during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
4) Kevin Kiermaier – Tampa Bay Rays
Bio: 25 y/o, 6’1″, 215 lbs, bats left, & throws right
MLB Years: 2 (only one game in 2013)
Games Played in 2015: 151 (148 as CF)
- .263 batting average
- .298 on-base percentage
- .420 slugging percentage
- 10 home runs & 40 RBIs
- 24 walks to 95 strikeouts
- 18 stolen bases in 23 attempts
- 2.87 range factor
- .988 fielding percentage
- 5 errors, 15 assists, & 412 putouts in 432 opportunities
‘It’ Factor: Youthful exuberance, a gun of an arm, and potential for better offense.
Kiermaier was fourth on the Tampa Bay Rays roster for the RBI lead, and yet his youth suggests a growth spurt will soon come at the plate. With maturity inevitably seeping into his game, Kiermaier won’t be striking out so many times. With his speed on the base paths, he should look to improve his OBP through a keener eye to leave bad pitches and walk more.
In the field, the man is a beast. Kiermaier’s been clocked at over 100 mph when throwing the ball in from deep center field. For our rankings, he may be lower on the list but an argument to give him the Gold Glove for the position is certainly not out of the question. That youth gives him incredible range and the courage to lay out for flyballs that nobody thought that he had any business catching.
Give this man some time and you will definitely see Kiermaier moving up this ranking, maybe even within a year.