- Jeffrey Scott Keppinger was flat out born on April 21, 1980 in Miami, Florida. He attended Parkview High School (home of the "Pathers"), a school that excels in Major Leaguers named Jeff who don't walk a lot. Also a graduate of Parkview is Jeff Francouer. Keppinger was a 3-time teaam MVP and led the Panthers to a state championship as a sophomore.
- He matriculated to the University of Georgia, home of another former Red named Jeff, Jeff Treadway. Keppinger put up a .380 batting average as a Bulldog and even hit 18 HR with a .691 slugging percentage as a senior, including a home run in the College World Series off of Mark Prior. He was named 2nd team All American in his final season with the Bulldogs.
- He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th round of the 2001 draft. It should be noted that in 1986, the Pirates took only the 2nd Jeff ever to be picked with the #1 overall pick, when they chose Jeff King out of the University of Arkansas. So, Keppinger had some big shoes to fill for the Jeff name.
- Keppinger hit well in the minors, but saw his power zapped as he transitioned from the aluminum to the wooden bats. Despite the 18 HR as a junior in college, he has never hit more than 10 HR in a season as a pro.
- He has a career .322 batting average in the minors and only 140 strikeouts in over 2300 plate appearances.
- Keppinger made his MLB debut with the New York Mets in 2004. He put up a decent average (.284), but not much else in 33 games and was back in the minors in 2005.
- He batted .337 in 2005 in Triple-A and was expected to replace an injured Kaz Matsui before he broke his knee cap and missed the remainder of the 2005 season.
- In July of 2007, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Ruben Gotay, much to the chagrin of some New York fans. He was traded once again the following January, this time to the Reds for minor league pitcher Russ Haltiwanger.
- Keppinger made his Reds debut on May 12, 2007 and by the middle of August he was regularly playing shortstop and batting .379/.446/.568. Prior to coming to the Reds he had played a total of 3 games at shortstop as a professional.
- He batted .393 during the month of August in 2007 and even received votes for NL Player of the Month for that month.
- With Alex Gonzalez out with a knee injury, Keppinger was named as the starting shortstop for Opening Day, 2008. He went 0 for 4 with a strikeout on his first Opening Day start, but by May 13th, he was batting .324/.373/.446 and was starting to get a little publicity (note that this originally aired the day before May 13th).
- May 13th, though, was when his season came crashing down as Keppinger fouled a ball of his knee, fractured his patella and missed the next 5+ weeks. He struggled mightily after returning (.238/.281/.299), leaving some to wonder if he was even healthy.
- Kepp is very popular in New York, with both Mets fans and even Yankees fans now that ARod is hurt.
- As you know, taking him out of the lineup is like taking Wade Boggs out of the lineup. I'm pretty sure his Wikipedia page is written by the same person.
- He's big in China:
Drafted/Signed: Was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th Round of the 2001 draft.
Traded: To the New York Mets with Kris Benson for Jose Bautista, Ty Wigginton, and Matt Peterson on July 30, 2004.
Traded: To the Kansas City Royals for Ruben Gotay, July 19, 2006.
Traded: To the Cincinnati Reds for Russ Haltiwanger, January 10, 2007.
GM when acquired by Reds: Wayne Krivsky
MLB service time (As of Opening Day 2009): 2.052 years
Signed by scout: Jack Powell
Current contract status: Pre-arbitration, renewed on a one year contract 2/24/09
(via the Baseball Cube)
RR Projected Wins Above Replacement: 1.17
Click any link below to view the graph above
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