Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Jeff Kent

Jeffrey Franklin Kent (born March 7, 1968 in Bellflower, California) is a Major League Baseball player and a former MVP winner. He is widely regarded as one of the best offensive second basemen to have ever played the game.

Table of contents
1 Early Career
2 Best Years
3 Accomplishments
4 Teams
5 External links

Early Career

Jeff was a star player at the University of California, Berkeley prior to being drafted in the 20th of the 1989 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Jeff was noted throughout College for his rigorous work ethic and passion for the game, but also for his rifts with the team manager. Jeff had also had a rift with his high school baseball coach; he was booted off the team as a result.

After three season's in the minor leagues, Jeff was invited to spring training in 1992 with the Jays and made the opening day roster. Jeff made his debut on April 12 but saw limited at-bats early in the season; however, an injury to starting third baseman Kelly Gruber granted Kent a more regular role in the line-up.

Jeff was traded on August 27 to the New York Mets along with a player to be named later (Ryan Thompson) for David Cone. It was a deal decried by both Toronto and New York fans. Many Toronto fans felt the club was compromising their future and that Jeff had earned the starting job at third base; many New York fans could not bear to see the fan-favourite Cone let go.

Jeff's time with the Mets was marked with some success and some failure. Although he batted well, particularly for a second baseman, the Mets were among the worst teams in the National League. Furthermore, he acquired a poor reputation in the clubhouse where he was known for a quick temper and isolationism.

Best Years

Jeff was the part of two trades in 1996. He was traded at the trade deadline to the Cleveland Indians and traded in the off-season to the San Francisco Giants.

Jeff's career took off in San Francisco. Immediately inserted in the line-up behind superstar Barry Bonds and with the confidence of manager Dusty Baker, Jeff rose to his potential, hitting .250 with 29 HRs and 121 RBIs. Jeff was consistently among the top RBI hitters in the league over his next five seasons with the Giants, amassing 689 RBIs over six years. His contributions were recognized in 2000 with the National League MVP Award, beating out teammate and perennial MVP-candidate Bonds.

In 2003, Jeff signed a two-year $18.2-million deal with the Houston Astros despite having been a part of a near World Series championship with the Giants in 2002. The move surprised many but few who had seen the growing tension between Kent and Bonds. Many felt the team was too small for two attitudes that big. The departure of manager Dusty Baker, who had first placed trust in Kent, may have also factored into the decision.



External links