On the same day Tony Kemp took the first step in his professional career, he was honored for his play in college.
On Wednesday, Kemp became Vanderbilt's first consensus first-team All-American since 2007 when he earned first-team accolades from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Earlier in the day, the former Vanderbilt second baseman signed a professional contract with the Houston Astros, who drafted him in the fifth round last week.
“Officially a part of the Houston Astros!” Kemp wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for all the love and support from the Vandy fans the last 3 years. Always a #VandyBoy.”
Kemp was one of five Vanderbilt players to earn All-American status. Pitchers Tyler Beede and Kevin Ziomek and outfielders Connor Harrell and Mike Yastrzemski also were recognized.
Kemp, a Franklin native, ended his career in grand fashion. The Southeastern Conference player of the year batted .391 with 104 hits, which made him the fourth Vanderbilt player with more than 100 hits in a season. He is the first to earn first-team accolades from Baseball America since Pedro Alvarez, David Price and Casey Weathers.
Beede was named to the NCBWA’s first team and tabbed to the second team by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. The sophomore led the nation with 14 wins and is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy. The right-hander was 14-1 with a 2.32 ERA and 103 strikeouts.
Baseball America and the NCBWA had Ziomek on their third teams. The left-hander posted a 11-3 record and 2.12 ERA — the program’s lowest since Jeff Peeples registered a 1.64 ERA in 1973. Ziomek, who led the team with 115 strikeouts, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the second round last week.
Harrell was named to the second team by the NCBWA. The center fielder, who was drafted by Detroit in the seventh round, led the team with 12 home runs and 67 RBIs. He finished his career in the top 10 with 50 doubles and 168 RBIs.
Yastrzemski was named to the NCBWA third team. The right fielder batted .312 with 43 RBIs in his senior year. He was named to the All-SEC first team and the Regional MVP. Earlier this week, he signed a professional contract with the Baltimore Orioles, who drafted him in the 14th round last week.