One of those that I can’t help but root for is former Strasburg Express righthander Kevin Herget (2012). Kevin’s easy to root for because of these reasons: He’s listed at 5-foot-10, which is considered “undersized” in the industry; he was drafted in the 39th round in 2013 by the St. Louis Cardinals- literally pick number 1,175 out of 1,216; he went to Kean, a Division-III school; and lastly, despite the first three reasons, he has put up amazing numbers in pro ball so far.
After getting drafted in 2013, Kevin was assigned to State College in the New York-Penn League, and went 7-0, 2.89 in 14 games and 53 innings, along with 63 hits allowed, 8 walks, and 36 strikeouts. His hits allowed were a little too many, but his 1.4 BB/9 was excellent.
In 2014, Kevin started out in Peoria in the Midwest League, and got a callup to the Florida State League’s Palm Beach affiliate for 7 games. Combined, he went 8-3, 2.71, with 67 hits, 29 walks, and a monstrous 94 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings. His walk rate increased, but his K rate exploded upwards. As has been mentioned in this space before, the ability to miss bats will keep pitchers around.
Kevin was sent back to Palm Beach to start 2015, and he’s clearly built on his 2014 success. After another 2 shutout innings on Monday, Kevin is 1-0, 0.00 in 10 1/3 innings, while giving up 7 hits, 0 walks, and striking out 14. He threw 5 no-hit innings with no walks and 6 strikeouts back on April 16th.
It surely looks like Kevin is making a case to be moved up to Double-A.
So while I’m inordinately happy when any former Valley Leaguer makes the major leagues, I might have to reserve a special celebration when (and if, to be fair) Kevin makes the Show….