February 20, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Roger Kieschnick (23) poses for a picture during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Kieschnick's Journey To The Majors

So who is Roger Kieschnick?

Photo by Denise Walos

Roger Kieschnick made his MLB debut in LF for the Giants/Phillies on July 31, 2013. He went 2 for 5 with 2 singles and 2 RBIs. On August 1, he pinch-hit for Jeff Francoeur in the 9th inning and he came through by driving in the game-tying run with a single to RF, scoring Hunter Pence. Is Kieschnick the answer to the ongoing left field issue for the Giants? Only time will tell. Here’s some background on the young outfielder.

The Giants selected Kieschnick in the third round (82nd overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Texas Tech. His draft year included Buster Posey, Conor Gillaspie (now with White Sox) and Brandon Crawford. Kieschnick was even drafted by ahead of Crawford (4th round pick, 117th overall).

So where has he been the last few years?

He joined the Class A San Jose Giants in 2009 playing right field and hit .296 with 23 HRs and 110 RBIs in 131 games.  He was a Cal League All-Star that year, his first professional season after being drafted.

Kieschnick moved up to the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2010. He played only 60 games before heading to the DL with a back injury in July.  He didn’t play any games after July 3, 2010. I finally dug up some factual information on the injury, which has been impossible to find without guessing the diagnosis. Kieschnick suffered a stress fracture to his L-5 vertebrae. Kieschnick reported in an April 8, 2011 article from the Richmond Times Dispatch: “L-5,” Kieschnick said Thursday night before the 2011 home opener of the Flying Squirrels. “I can’t pick out a certain point when it happened. I think it was more gradual.” I know from experience, the only way to heal stress fractures is to take time off. Makes sense he needed the rest of the 2010 season to recover.

In 2011, he returned to Richmond but once again ended his season prematurely with another back injury in August. He played 126 games (of 144) .255BA, 16 HR, 65 RBI.

In 2012, the  Giants moved Kieschnick to the 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Kieschnick started the season with AAA Fresno, playing left field instead of his usual position in right field. On May 29, 2012, a hairline fracture in his left shoulder from a collision with the wall in left field kept him from playing until August. Through May, he was batting .319 with 14 HRs, 37 RBIs. Until his injury, Kieschnick was expected to be called up to the majors on September 1, when the team’s roster expands from the 25-man active roster to the entire 40-man roster.

In 2013 in AAA Fresno, Kieschnick has a .273 BA with 14 HRs and 56 RBIs. Not bad for 100 games. If he can stay healthy this year, I think we’ll see him at least platoon in left field with Francoeur. Only time will tell. Let’s hope he can keep hitting.

Fun facts about Kieschnick:

  • Kieschnick shares #23 with former Giants: Felipe Alou, Jack Hiatt, Tito Fuentes, Jose Uribe, Ellis Burks and Shawon Dunston.
  • Originally a football player, Kieschnick needed to make a decision as a freshman in high school to play one or the other and chose baseball.
  • He hit a grand slam in his first game playing for Texas Tech.
  • Brooks Kieschnick (former MLB pitcher/utility player) is not Roger’s uncle, but his 4th cousin. Don’t trust everything you read on Wikipedia.

 

Tags: Roger Kieschnick San Francisco Giants

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