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Q&A with Tigers Prospect and 2019 CWS Standout Jimmy Kerr

DGS spoke to Jimmy Kerr, who is currently playing for the Detroit Tigers rookie team after a standout season with Michigan.

Jimmy Kerr never thought he would become a professional baseball player. He considered quitting the game after his junior year at the University of Michigan, where he hit .176 in just 17 starts. Instead of playing summer baseball, Kerr spent his off-season in the weight-room hoping to earn some success in what could have been his last season of baseball.

His work paid off as he started every game in the 2019 season finishing the regular season hitting an impressive .271. On top of that, he led his Michigan team to the College World Series where he hit three home runs. Michigan fell just short of the national title, but it was a ride to remember. The cherry on top for Kerr was being selected in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers in the 33rd round. He found out the news while he was with his Michigan teammates.

I had the opportunity to chat with Kerr at Carpenter Field in Clearwater, FL  where his Tigers rookie-league team was facing the Phillies affiliate.

DGS: “First, can you talk to me about that moment on the bus when you were drafted while you were with all your teammates. How special was that?”

Kerr: “You couldn’t have asked for a better place, me being surrounded by my teammates. For us to get that notification that I was going to the Tigers was a dream come true. ”

DGS: “How’s the start to pro ball been? You seem to be doing pretty well.” (10 hits, 9 RBI’s, 2 Home Runs in 10 games)”

Kerr: “It’s been fun. There’s a lot of great guys around here, and the coaching staff has been great with helping me adjust to the pro baseball life. It’s kind of fun just being able to focus on baseball.”

DGS: “Has everything in pro baseball lived up to expectations and have there been any big surprises?”

Kerr: “Not many big surprises. I’ve had a lot of older brothers in the Michigan program that have talked to me about what it’s like to play professional baseball… so not a ton of surprises but it’s been fun. It’s been very fun.”

DGS: “How would you describe the grind of pro ball? Has it been hard getting used to or is it close to college?”

Kerr:” It’s different. Here were doing everything super early in the morning where in college its the other way around. But it’s just the same deal. You work hard, have fun doing it and hopefully, good things will happen.”

DGS: “What did you take away from playing in the College World Series being the runner up and playing against Vanderbilt in front of 35,000 people at TD Ameritrade Park?”

Kerr: “That’s just something ill never forget. Those are memories that we made with our teammates that we will be talking about for the rest of our lives. That was the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball and I’m going to miss the college game, but I think playing that kind of competition definitely helped me coming into pro ball.”

Kerr (Right) celebrate a run (Steven Branscombe / USA TODAY Sports)

Q: “What’s been your mental approach coming onto the field every day so far in pro ball?”

A:” Just take it one at-bat at a time. You can’t get too caught up in bad at-bats because just like the college season it’s a long season and you can’t get worried about stats and how you fit into the program or organization, so you just need to take it one at-bat at a time and have fun doing it. ”

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Eli Fishman is a 16-year old college and minor league baseball writer for Double G Sports. He writes about MLB and MLB Draft prospects. Eli has experience broadcasting college baseball and has his own website and YouTube channel where he interviews professional baseball players.
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