Kemp is the 150th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
(NWL-Rochester, Minn.) – Former Rochester Honkers infielder, Tony Kemp, made his Major League debut for the Houston Astros on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Kemp is the 150th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Kemp, who played collegiately at Vanderbilt, played for the Rochester Honkers in 2011. Kemp was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 5th round of the 2013 MLB draft.
In 2011 with the Honkers, Kemp hit .292 over 35 games. He also had 11 RBI and stole nine bases.
Kemp started his Minor League career in 2013 with the Tri-City ValleyCats in the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. After 48 games he was promoted to the Lo-A Midwest League with the Quad Cities River Bandits. Over 75 games he hit a combined .273 with eight doubles, three triples and two home runs. He also drove in 22 runs and stole 21 bases.
Kemp began the 2014 season in the Hi-A California League with the Lancaster JetHawks. After 72 games with Lancaster he was promoted to the Corpus Christi Hooks in the AA Texas League. Between the two teams he hit .316 with eight home runs, 30 doubles, eight triples and 41 stolen bases.
2015 saw Kemp play 50 games in Corpus Christi before a promotion to the AAA Fresno Grizzlies in the Pacific Coast League. He hit .308 with 19 doubles and four triples to go along with 35 stolen bases between the two clubs.
Prior to being called up to the Astros, Kemp had played in 34 games with the Grizzlies and was hitting .298 with four triples and four stolen bases. He had also driven in 10 runs.
In his Major League debut against the Chicago White Sox, Kemp entered in the 8th inning as a pinch-runner at second base for Tyler White. He advanced to third on a single to left by Melky Cabrera and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Altuve. He did not enter the game in the bottom of the 8th inning in the field.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22 year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 150 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.