RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
||Born: July 3, 1982
Drafted: 2nd Round, 53rd Overall, 2003 (Marlins)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Texas A&M University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Kensing went to college as a shortstop, but was converted to the mound. He would have been a first round pick after his junior year, but possibly due to inexperience he didn’t hold up well to the full college season and had a weak second half. The Marlins got him in the second round. At the time he threw a 90-94 mph fastball with very good sink and an average slider. His arm hasn’t held up well as a pro, either, as his career has been interrupted repeatedly by elbow, shoulder and wrist problems. He also probably wasn’t helped by being rushed to the majors; he never spent a full season in the minors. He moved to the bullpen in 2006 and it probably helped his velocity, as he’s consistently averaged about 93 with his fastball despite all the injuries. According to PitchFX, his fastball has good movement but his slider does not. He’s been a flyball pitcher as a major leaguer. He hasn’t had a meaningful platoon split. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2012.
Got hit hard in short season debut, but pitched better in low A, although with a low K rate.
Kensing had a strong season in high A, although his K rate was a little low. He allowed only five HRs. The Marlins called him up in September when they had a string of doubleheaders. He started three games, then made a couple of relief appearances late in the month. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t ready for the majors.
Kensing started seven games in AA and pitched very well, then was called up and had three poor relief outings before going out for the season with an elbow injury.
The Marlins moved Kensing permanently to the bullpen. He started off pitching well in AAA, then was called up after a month. He pitched respectably for the Marlins, holding hitters to a .221 average and fanning well over a batter an inning, but walking too many. A wrist injury ended his season ended in early August.
Opened the season on the disabled list due to elbow surgery. He returned in August and worked his way up through the minors. He spent September with the Marlins and pitched well except for a high walk rate.
Kensing opened the season with the Marlins and didn’t pitch badly, but he continued to have trouble with walks. The Marlins had obtained a fourth option for him, which they used in July. He struggled in AAA, but returned after about a month and pitched about the same as before. He continued to post good strikeout rates.
After opening the season with the Marlins and pitching poorly through late April, Kensing was traded to the Nationals. He was designated for assignment two weeks later, then brought back up two months later after pitching very well, with excellent walk and strikeout rates, in AAA. He didn’t continue his success in the majors, as he got hit hard, allowed a HR every four innings, and saw his K rate plummet. In retrospect, it seems likely his shoulder wasn’t healthy.
Kensing signed a minor league deal with the Rays, but had two shoulder surgeries and missed the entire season.
Kensing opened the season in independent ball and pitched well. He eventually caught on with the Yankees and pitched in AAA the rest of the year. He wasn’t effective, with continuing control problems, but he at least maintained a high K rate.
Kensing was hurt at the start of the season. He was activated in mid-May and made his way up from Bradenton to Indianapolis, although he missed half of June with another injury. He pitched sparingly and entirely in relief. He was much more effective in AAA than he was the previous year, although his control still wasn’t great.
Kensing’s issues with injuries continued in 2012. It’s been difficult throughout his career to judge his performance due to the fact that he’s seldom been healthy. He’ll be a free agent in the fall.
2012: Split Contract — Minor League Contract, or $675,000 if in majors
|Signing Bonus: $675,000
MiLB Debut: 2003
MLB Debut: 9/10/2004
MiLB FA Eligible: 2012
MLB FA Eligible: 2013
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: September 7, 2004
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
MLB Service Time: 4.035
|June 3, 2003: Drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 2nd round, 53rd overall; signed on June 21.
September 7, 2004: Contract purchased by the Florida Marlins.
April 29, 2009: Traded by the Florida Marlins to the Washington Nationals for Kyle Gunderson.
May 15, 2009: Designated for assignment by the Washington Nationals; assigned to AAA on May 25.
July 20, 2009: Called up by the Washington Nationals.
November 6, 2009: Outrighted to AAA by the Washington Nationals.
November 13, 2009: Became a free agent.
December 15, 2009: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Washington Nationals.
March 17, 2010: Released by the Washington Nationals.
April 9, 2010: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Tampa Bay Rays.
November 6, 2010: Became a free agent.
June 29, 2011: Signed as a minor league free agent with the New York Yankees.
November 2, 2011: Became a free agent.
January 4, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.