Rays Alumni Update: Jeren Kendall
By: Jordan Weber
Univ. of Minnesota
Strategic Marketing Intern – GRB Academy
Former Rays standout Jeren Kendall is currently in his first full season as a professional baseball player. Standing at 6-foot-one, Jeren Kendall was drafted first round (30th pick) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 MLB Draft. As son of the former Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer Jeremy Kendall, Kendall has had passion and dedication to the game of baseball starting at a young age.
Upon graduating from Holmen High School as Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year and Wisconsin Player of the Year, Kendall chose to continue his baseball career at Vanderbilt University, despite being selected in the 30th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox. As a freshman, Kendall played a role in the College World Series in Omaha. “His physical skills are different, uncommon and fun to watch. He can impact a game with his feet, glove, arm and bat. His best baseball is ahead of him for sure. His disposition makes him fun and easy to coach” said Coach Tim Corbin (Vanderbilt, 2017). In 2017, Kendall’s junior year, he lead the team in runs scored (59), hits and home runs, while posting a .372 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage to end the season earning him First Team All-SEC and All-Defensive Team (MLB News, 2017). That summer, he was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance his skills into the highest level of competition: Major League Baseball.
Today, Kendall, 22, is playing in the California League South for the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes as a center-fielder. Working through some adjustments at the plate, once Kendall is on base he is a force to be reckoned with. With his OBP at .329 thus far this season, Kendall’s high-class speed makes him a definite threat on the base paths and in the outfield. “It’s been fun. My experience with pro ball so far has been a pretty exciting one,” the Clearwater, Florida, native said. “For me, the tools are there, but I need to be more polished and consistent. Consistency is what the big leaguers do. Everybody at this level knows how to play this game, so it’s being consistent that sets you apart” said Kendall to MILB.com’s Michael Avallone (2017).
In May, Kendall hit .240 with 4 home-runs to go along with 14 stolen bases. It was his best month with the Dodgers’ organization. To stay up to date with Kendall’s latest stats, you can follow Kendall on milb.com with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.