Kemp Inks Deal with Texas Rangers
May 26, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana senior right fielder Joe Kemp signed a contract with the Texas Rangers organization on Wednesday and will head to Arizona next week to begin his professional baseball career. The Rangers selected Kemp in the 42nd round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft.
"This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid," said Kemp. "I worked so hard in college to get to this point, and I'm just excited to get the opportunity to go play with the Rangers.
Kemp will start at extended spring training in Arizona. After that, he will head to Spokane, Wash., to play in the Northwest League for the Spokane Indians. The Indians are the Class A Short-Season affiliate of the Rangers.
"Joe has been a solid baseball player at Indiana," said Indiana head coach Bob Morgan. "He has been the most feared hitter in our line up, and he put together his best season this past year. We wish him well in his professional career, and we feel he will do very well."
Kemp reached career-high's with a .327 batting average, 10 home runs, 63 RBI, 59 runs, 72 hits, 120 total bases and 12 stolen bases in 2005. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week on two occasions and hit for the cycle against Michigan State on May 7. The Bowie, Md., native had multiple hits in 20 contests and led the squad with 19 multi-RBI games, including a five-RBI effort when he hit for the cycle.
Additionally, he returned to the mound for the first time since 2002, earning his first win in three years against Memphis on Feb. 26 and capturing his first career save versus Miami (Ohio) on April 13.
Kemp closed out his career with a .304 batting average, 22 home runs, 146 RBI, 140 runs, 44 doubles and 12 triples. He sits in the IU career top 10 for doubles, triples and extra base hits.
With Kemp's signing, the Cream and Crimson currently have 10 players competing in the minor leagues.
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