Kenny was selected by the Tigers in the 16th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Kennesaw State University. He earned All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors as a senior in 2009 after going 7-4 with a 3.16 ERA (42.2IP/15ER), four saves and 56 strikeouts in 26 outings. He went 1-0 with a 3.34 ERA (29.2IP/11ER) and 40 strikeouts in 19 games (one start) as a junior. Last year pitching for the Lakeland Tigers, he recorded 20 saves with 67 strikeouts in just 52.2 innings pitched. In pitching just a shade over 138 innings, Kenny has only let up 6 home runs through the minor leagues.
Kenny was nice enough to take some time to answers some questions for our readers of the Country Strong Tigers. Here are the questions with Kenny’s answers applied:
Q: What’s the one thing you have to have on long road trips?
A: Great noise cancelling headphones so I can sleep over the movie that’s usually playing.
Q: Any Pre-Game superstitions? or meals?
A: I like to go outside and listen to rock music while I stretch an hour before game time to get in the zone.
Q: Who the person you looked up too growing up?
A: My Dad. He worked, always pushed me to do my best and never quit. But, I loved that he would stick up for what he believes in and to never back down from anyone.
Q: Who influenced you as far as playing the game of baseball?
A: I would have to say my Junior College coach Scot Hemmings, he made me believe that I could do anything I wanted. He also showed me how to come to the ball field and take care of business (get your work in) then leave.
Q: What we’re your reactions on being drafted in the 16th round?
A: It was great! I was very greatful to get a chance to play pro ball.
Q: What made you choose Kennesaw State University as your college of choice?
A: I didn’t have any Division One offers so, I basically walked on to KSU. My coach (Scot Hemmings) told me if I went Division Two I would never get drafted but if I went Division One, I would. Plus KSU was close to home and I always wanted to be an OWL.
Q: Favorite Pro sports teams? (NBA,NFL,MLB etc)
A: Atlanta Falcons and a Braves fan as well.
Q: Favorite baseball player(s) growing up?
A: Tom Glavine and Jon Rocker.
Q: We’re you always a closer? Through high school and college?
A: I started in high school and junior college. My junior year at Kennesaw State, I was a late inning reliever. I didn’t close till my senior year. In relief I threw harder, as a starter I was not as effective.
Q: Tips on being an affective closer?
A: Go right after hitters, don’t be scared to get hit! Mix it up but failure is going to happen. It’s just you gotta bounce back and get back on the mound!
Q: If you ever make the Big Leagues, will we be seeing a special save routine? (ex. Jose Valverde)
A: (Laughs) I’ll probably do a small fist pump.
Q: Do you play any type of video games? If so, what kind of system?
A: I have an Xbox 360. I love playing NCAA Football, Gears of War, and Call of Duty.
Q: Apple,Android or Blackberry?
A: Apple. It’s a great phone! You can’t beat it.
Q: Twitter,Facebook or MySpace?
A: I have a Twitter but, don’t really use it. I love Facebook! I use it to check in with my buddies and see how old friends are doing.
Q: Favorite music artists?
A: Guns n Roses, Breaking Benjamin, 30 Seconds to Mars, Five Finger Death Punch, Waka Flocka Flame, Future, and basically every Country music artist.
Q: Any others jobs that you do besides being a pro baseball pitcher?
A: Lets see, Honey Baked Ham holiday help, GameStop, I valet cars, I wash cars, I have moved stuff for people, I put up files. I work when I don’t play ball because, you gotta make money some how!
Q: Favorite hobby to do in your spare time?
A: Riding four-wheelers at night is so much fun.
Q: Why did you choose the number you chose, any special reason or was it just given to you?
A: I love any numbers with a 9 at the end. 9 is just my favorite number.
Q: Best manager you have ever played for throughout your career?
A: Jode Pastino in West Michigan was the best manager I’ve had. He was great, understood the everyday grind!
Q: Best player you have played with or against?
A: Zac Samuals is probably one of the best pitchers I’ve ever played with. Honestly, he can pitch and if I ever got in trouble, that’s the guy I want coming in to save me. One of the best hitters I have ever faced is Scooter Gennett. Scooter knows the zone and can hit!
Q: If you could have gone pro or played any other sport besides baseball, what would it have been and why?
A: I think if I was big enough it would have been a blast to play college football at the Division One level.
Q: Best/worst parks to play in? (or cities to travel to)
A: West Michigan was a blast! Grand Rapids is a fun city to travel to. Worst park would probably be Vermont Lake Monsters. Old stadium and it felt like you were in the 1920’s playing baseball.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
A: In 20 years I hope to be a great college coach at a Division One level school and have won some conference championships. Married with 3 kids and have a Corvette to drive around for fun.
I want to personally thank Kenny for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions for the readers of CST. I hope to see you one day wearing the Olde English D!
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