Max Kepler

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Max Kepler
Max Kepler Spring 2016.jpg
Kepler with the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins – No. 26
Born: (1993-02-10) February 10, 1993 (age 25)
Berlin, Germany
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
September 27, 2015, for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
(through 2018 season)
Batting average .233
Home runs 56
Runs batted in 190

Maximilian Kepler-Różycki (born February 10, 1993) is a German professional baseball outfielder for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2015. Before signing with the Twins, he played for Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg of Bundesliga. He is left-handed.

Early life

Kepler was born in Berlin, Germany. His parents, Kathy Kepler and Marek Różycki, were both professional ballet dancers; they met when they performed in the same ballet company in Berlin.[1] His mother is from San Antonio, Texas,[2] while his father is from Poland.[1] Kepler is 1.92 metres (6 ft 4 in) tall[2] and weighs 98 kilograms (216 lb).[3] Max has one sister.[1]

At the age of six, Kepler started baseball at the Little League level with the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin.[4] Though he received a scholarship at age seven to the Steffi Graf Tennis Foundation,[1] he decided he preferred baseball.[4] Kepler attended John F. Kennedy School,[2] and the St. Emmeram Academy in Regensburg in 2008, where he was able to train in baseball more than the average American teenager.[5][6] He played association football with Hertha BSC,[2] and played baseball for Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg of Bundesliga, the highest baseball league in Germany.[2][7]

Minnesota Twins

Andy Johnson, an international scout working for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB), first noticed Kepler when he played in a junior national tournament at the age of 14.[1] At the age of 16, he signed with the Twins in 2009 for US$800,000, the largest signing bonus given by an MLB franchise to a European-born player.[2][5] Kepler made his American debut in the Rookie-level in 2010 Gulf Coast League (GCL) with the GCL Twins. He was promoted to the Elizabethton Twins of the Rookie-Advanced Appalachian League in 2011. He was assigned to Elizabethton for the 2012 season.[8] An elbow injury delayed the start of Kepler's 2013 season, when he was assigned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League.[9] Following the regular season, the Twins assigned Kepler to the Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League.[10]

After the 2013 season, the Twins added Kepler to their 40-man roster and he was invited to spring training.[11] Kepler played for the Fort Myers Miracle of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in 2014, and opened the 2015 season with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Class AA Southern League.[12] Kepler was selected to represent the Twins at the 2015 All-Star Futures Game,[13] though a sore shoulder prevented him from playing.[14] Kepler finished the 2015 season with a .327 batting average, nine home runs and 18 stolen bases. He was named Southern League Player of the Year.[15]

The Twins promoted Kepler to the major leagues on September 21, 2015 the night after the Lookouts won the Southern League championship.[16] He made his major league debut on September 27, 2015 and recorded his first hit on October 4, 2015.[17] After Donald Lutz, Kepler is the second German-developed player to play in the modern Major Leagues.[18]

The Twins assigned Kepler to the Rochester Red Wings of the Class AAA International League to start the 2016 season.[19] After playing in two games for Rochester, the Twins promoted him to the major leagues to replace the injured Danny Santana on April 10, 2016.[20] Fifteen days later, Kepler was optioned to Rochester.[21] On June 1, 2016 Kepler was recalled to replace the injured Miguel Sanó, and he began getting regular starts for the Twins in right field. The next day, Kepler had his first multi-hit game, and on June 12, Kepler swatted his first major league home run, a walk-off three-run shot in the 10th inning off of Matt Barnes of the Boston Red Sox.[22] On August 1 against the Cleveland Indians, Kepler became the first European-born MLB player to hit three home runs in one game and the 5th Twins player to do so after Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Justin Morneau.[23] On August 8, 2016 Kepler was named co-American League Player of the Week, his first time receiving that honor, alongside teammate Joe Mauer.[24]

In 2017, as an everyday outfielder for the Twins, he set career highs with 147 games, an average of .243, and 19 home runs with 69 RBI.

In 2018, Kepler had a batting average of .224, hit 20 home runs, with 58 RBI, in 156 games. His 20 home runs and 156 games played are both career highs.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Twins' Kepler-Rozycki is in his element | News". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Max Kepler-Rozycki: "Das ist wie bei der Bundeswehr" :: Homepage – Sport – Das MZ-Samstagsinterview :: Mittelbayerische Zeitung" (in German). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  3. ^ "B.Z.-Besuch beim Berliner Baseball-Nachwuchsstar Max Kepler-Rozycki in Florida : Wunderkind vermisst die Kälte und die S-Bahn – B.Z. Berlin" (in German). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  4. ^ a b ZEIT ONLINE GmbH, Hamburg, Germany (August 13, 2010). "Baseball: Die Ballet-Ikone mit Baseball-Stollen | Sport | ZEIT ONLINE" (in German). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Schlagen für die große Baseball-Zukunft :: Homepage – Sport – Buchbinder Legionäre – Legionäre News :: Mittelbayerische Zeitung" (in German). January 26, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Smith, Cameron (July 7, 2009). "Baseball Insider – The Top European Prospect Ever". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  7. ^ "European Top Prospect Max Kepler-Rozycki to sign with Minnesota Twins – Europeans in the USA, News – German Baseball Leagues – Mister Baseball". July 4, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  8. ^ Davis, Danny. "Relearning game, nuturing talent in Tennessee". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "Chart: Update on injuries to Twins' prospects". Star Tribune. April 20, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  10. ^ "Athletic Kepler boasts broad skill set". December 30, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  11. ^ Berardino, Mike (November 20, 2013). "Minnesota Twins add Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco to 40-man roster". Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  12. ^ Paschall, David (April 7, 2015). "Half of Twins' top 10 prospects opening with Chattanooga Lookouts". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  13. ^ "Twins Jose Berrios, Max Kepler in Futures Game". Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "Injured Max Kepler to miss Futures Game". July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  15. ^ "Lookouts Max Kepler Named Southern League Player Of The Year". The Chattanoogan. September 4, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  16. ^ Bollinger, Rhett (September 21, 2015). "Twins call up German-born Kepler for stretch run: Recently named Southern League MVP, outfielder ranks as club's No. 6 prospect". Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  17. ^ Heneghan, Kelsie (February 9, 2016). "Kepler rides roller coaster to Minnesota: Twins prospect deals with disappointment, playoffs before first callup". Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  18. ^ Sheldon, Mark (May 1, 2013). "Lutz gets first big league start in finale". Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  19. ^ Kraft, Alex (March 25, 2016). "Twins option Kepler to Triple-A Rochester: Third-ranked prospect heads to International League for first time". Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  20. ^ Berardino, Mike (April 10, 2016). "Minnesota Twins: Top position prospect Max Kepler gets a surprise call". Pioneer Press. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  21. ^ "Twins send top prospect Byron Buxton, batting .156, to minors". Associated Press. April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  22. ^ Miller, Phil (June 12, 2016). "Kepler's first career home run is a walkoff winner over Boston". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  23. ^
  24. ^

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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