The odds of making it to the top level of professional baseball are slim, but when the talent is big enough it’s just a matter of time. For Turlock High grad Kevin Kramer, the time is now.
Kramer was called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, and the Turlock star’s family took to social media to announce the good news.
“Well you did it kid,” said Kevin’s dad Steve Kramer on Facebook. “A big congrats to you and Riley (Kramer) for making your dreams come true. Here’s to a new beginning, keep doing what you’re doing. We love you and can’t wait to see you in Pittsburgh, here we come.”
Kevin’s wife Riley also had some words to share on her page.
“He got ‘the call’ every baseball player is working so hard for. You’re going to the big leagues. We drove straight to Pittsburgh and family has arrived and today we will go sit at PNC Park, because now we are Pirates fans.”
His path to the big leagues included a lot of hard work.
In his final high school season at Turlock High, he helped his Bulldogs to back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South runner-up finishes.
Kramer was then part of the 2013 UCLA Bruins baseball team that won the College World Series after a wild 49-17 record for the year.
In 2015, he started off his professional career at the New York-Penn League with the West Virginia Black Bears (Single-A Short).
He was moved up to the West Virginia Power (Single-A Full) before the season concluded and then got called up to the next level (Advanced Single-A) for the 2016 season.
There, Kramer was part of the Bradenton Marauders organization where he joined the Single-A advanced squad and in 118 games played he batted .277 and finished with 57 RBI, 29 doubles and three stolen bases. His on-base-percentage was at .352 for the year.
Following his standout 2016 season, Kramer was finally moved up through the rankings last year during the 2017 campaign.
After playing for three different teams, Kramer got the call up to the Triple-A squad, just one level away from the Majors.
There, Kramer batted .311 this past season in 129 games player for the Indianapolis Indians.
According to The Athletic Pittsburgh, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said that Kevin Kramer is expected to get some playing time at 2B ad 3B.
“So much knowledge in this coaching staff that I am going to be a sponge from them and talk to them on a daily basis and pick their brains,” Kramer said on Twitter in an interview with DKPghSports. “This is the best league in the world for a reason and I am looking to continue to grow. Building off last year… it’s been a great year and it’s not over. I made adjustments during the season and I will continue to make those adjustments and I will come up here and do what I do and learn and grow.”
Kramer will wear No. 44. His first official game on the roster was on Tuesday against Cincinnati.