Position: Right Handed Pitcher Height: 6-4 Weight: 190
Born: 3/5/1979 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Baugh was the 11th overall pick in the 2001 draft by the Detroit Tigers out of Rice University. Baugh had compiled an absolutely outstanding 4-year career with the Owls, notching a 2.66 career ERA, including a 1.82 ERA during his senior campaign. Despite the extreme success in college, Baugh was a bit of a gamble, as are most Rice pitchers. Head Coach Wayne Graham has been notorious for ignoring pitch counts and abusing his young aces, a fate which Baugh fell victim to as well. In a much publicized NCAA tournament start his final year, Baugh remained in the game for 171 pitches, well beyond a normal workload. Upon turning pro in 2001, Baugh was dominant in 11 minor league starts, posting a 2.25 ERA over two levels. Kenny was shut down near the end of the 2001 season with shoulder soreness, which eventually required surgery, forcing him to miss the entire 2002 season. The 2003 season saw Baugh return with decreased velocity, and subsequently, decreased effectiveness. Last season, Baugh had arguably his most successful full season in the Tiger organization, posting a 3.38 ERA in 28 starts for Toledo of the International League.
Baugh came out of college with a reputation as a polished pitcher with a clean delivery and a good knowledge of the game. Despite his clean mechanics, the wear and tear on his young arm was simply too much. Baugh saw his velocity dip from 92-94 mph prior to surgery to 85-88 during the 2003 season. As his arm has continued to heal, his velocity has returned to the 89-91 range, with increased movement. Baugh compliments his now average fastball with an average "slurve" and a plus change-up. Good command of all his pitches, allows Baugh to work intelligently on the mound, keeping hitters off balance. Kenny is a strong and athletic player with a good work ethic, and he takes well to coaching suggestions. Combining his willingness to learn, intelligence, and his natural ability, Baugh has the makings of a solid pitcher who simply needs to avoid injury. Kenny has shown to be a consistent starter who is adept at setting up hitters and bearing down in tight spots.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP WHIP AAA
Baugh missed the entire 2002 season after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. After completing his rehabilitation, Baugh came back to pitch effectively, but often missed time due to soreness. Kenny recovered well and was getting stronger late in the 2003 season, and into the 2004 campaign. Unfortunately, the injury bug struck again late in the 2004 season, as Baugh came down with shoulder bursitis that prematurely ended his fine season. The injury was not serious, and had it not been for Kenny tiring late in the 2005 campaign, he would have likely made his Major League debut after the Mudhens playoff run.
Baugh's recent trade to San Diego should bode well for his chances at making his Major League debut in 2006. Kenny will likely have a chance to compete with starters Dewon Brazelton and Chan Ho Park for the 5th spot in the Padres rotation. Despite Baugh's newfound tendency for inducing groundballs, he should be aided by the pitcher friendly dimensions of Petco Park in San Diego. If Baugh makes the Padres' 25-man roster, don't be surprised if he quietly puts together a fine season for a team that could use another quality pitcher.