Kemp flashes unexpected power early in professional career

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 9:56pm

In three years and 193 games at Vanderbilt, Tony Kemp hit just one home run.

It took just two games for him to hit the first of his professional career.

Kemp went yard on Tuesday night in his second game for the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Class A short-season affiliate of the Houston Astros. The 5-foot-6 leadoff hitter smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning for a 2-0 lead over the Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland A’s) in a New York-Penn League matchup.

Kemp, the Southeastern Conference player of the Year, went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in his minor league debut in the season opener on Monday. His former Vanderbilt teammate Conrad Gregor, who was also drafted by the Astros, went 2-for-3 and drove in a run, scored by Kemp.

At Vanderbilt, Kemp was known more for his speed than his power.

The Franklin native finished with a career batting average of .329, 72 stolen bases and 21 triples, which tied the SEC record. This season, which ended on June 9 in a Super Regional to Louisville, he hit .391, scored 61 runs, had six triples and stole 34 bases.

His lone homer in college came during his sophomore season in 2012. He capped off an eight-run first inning of a 16-2 midweek win in April over Tennessee-Martin with a two-run shot to right field.

1 Comment on this post:

By: 4gold on 6/19/13 at 6:59

Great for Kempa and Gregor. Meanwhile I am watching MS. St in Omaha. Where were those hits a couple weeks ago?

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!