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Brock Kjeldgaard

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Riley Kjeldgaard

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[edit] Biographical Information

Brock Kjeldgaard has won one minor league home crown and two Pan American Games Gold Medals.

Kjeldgaard began his career as a pitcher. The Milwaukee Brewers took him in the 34th round of the 2005 amateur draft. The scout was Harvey Kuenn, Jr. He spent two summers pitching for the Helena Brewers, going 1-2 with a save and a 5.29 ERA in 16 games (8 starts) in 2006 and 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in 17 games (1 start) in 2007. Overall, he had a 5.53 ERA and allowed 93 hits and 34 walks in 81 1/3 IP.

Brock was moved to first base in 2008. Back with Helena, he hit .278/.350/.503 with 27 doubles, 14 homers, 55 runs, 65 RBI and 113 strikeouts in 75 games. He led the Pioneer League in games played, at-bats (306), putouts at 1B (744), assists at 1B (55), double plays at 1B (55, tied) and whiffs, tied for second in home runs (one behind leader Luis Jimenez, even with Roberto Lopez and Angel Castillo), tied for second in RBI (even with Jimenez, trailing Lopez), was third in total bases (154), third in extra-base hits (41) and fifth in hits (85). He made the Pioneer League All-Star team at first base.

In 2009, the Edmonton native played both first and the corner outfield spots regularly for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He produced at a .250/.342/.458 clip with 30 doubles, 20 home runs and 74 RBI. He struck out a whopping 172 times in 472 at-bats (his 6' 5" frame left him a huge strike zone). He tied Ryan Flaherty for third in the Midwest League in circuit clouts, was 4th in extra-base hits (54) and second in strikeouts, behind Kyle Russell. He tied Carlos Peguero for fourth in the affiliated minors in whiffs, 19 behind leader Greg Halman.

Kjeldgaard was primarily a left fielder for the 2010 Brevard County Manatees. He batted .245/.308/.416 with 29 doubles, 17 home runs and 75 RBI. He struck out even more, 175 times, though his K rate was down a bit as he had 490 AB. He was fourth in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League in homers, behind Mike McDade, Quincy Latimore and Melky Mesa. He also led the FSL in strikeouts, 26 more than anyone else. In the affiliated minors, he was 5th in Ks behind Denny Almonte, Brandon Waring, Peguero and Russell.

He split 2011 between Brevard County (.268/.366/.558, 18 HR in 65 G) and the Huntsville Stars (.271/.341/.424, 6 HR in 61 G). Overall, he was down to 141 strikeouts while going deep 24 times and driving in 76. He again played mostly in the corner outfield, with some action at 1B and DH. He then joined Team Canada for the 2011 Baseball World Cup and 2011 Pan American Games. In the World Cup, he hit .222/.417/.472 with 10 walks, 8 RBI and two homers in 11 games, as Canada's main right fielder and occasional center fielder. The first dinger was a three-run shot off Todd Redmond to help Canada down Team USA; the second, off Venezuela's Josmar Carreno, traveled over 400'. Canada split the Bronze with the US when the Bronze Medal game was rained out. Kjeldgaard led the tourney in walks (one over Justin Huber and Jordan Danks) and was second in whiffs (16, two behind Jong-wook Ko). Canada won their first Gold in the Pan American Games; he hit .250/.435/.313 with 4 runs in 5 games while splitting RF with Jamie Romak and CF with [[Michael Crrouse]. Only Tim Smith scored more runs for Canada. The 2011 Canadian National Team would be inducted en masse into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Brock struggled in 2012 with Huntsville (.234/.349/.443 in 48 G) and Brevard County (.183/.301/.346 in 32 G) and had a rehab stint with the AZL Brewers; he missed two months after injuring his thumb sliding to break up a double play. He did very well in 7 games for the Arizona Fall League's Phoenix Desert Dogs (.385/.455/.846, 4 HR, 7 R, 9 RBI). He was 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs for Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers but did not remain with the team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Kjeldgaard was hitting the ball hard in 2013 with Huntsville, going deep 24 times, but struck out in 151 of 446 AB and posted a .222/.333/.417 batting line. He did have 13 outfield assists. He led the Southern League in home runs (two more than Joc Pederson and Jason Rogers), was 5th in RBI (70, between Christian Villanueva and Arismendy Alcantara), tied Nick Evans for 6th in walks and was second in strikeouts (two shy of Keenyn Walker). He was three assists shy of league leader Ruby Silva. He tied Hunter Morris for the most home runs in the Brewers chain, was 5th in RBI (between Morris and Mitch Haniger), was third in walks (behind Michael Reed and Kentrail Davis) and was second in Ks (20 behind Neil Ramirez).

After a slow start to 2014 with Huntsville (.176/.333/.324 in 20 G), Milwaukee let him go. He signed with the independent Lancaster Barnstormers and hit .223/.298/.420 with 13 homers in 67 games, but 90 strikeouts in 265 AB. He wrapped up the year on a hot note with the Sioux City Explorers (.358/.455/.660, 15 R, 15 RBI in 14 G). He began 2015 back with Sioux City then joined Canada for their successful Gold Medal defense in the 2015 Pan American Games. Splitting DH with Tim Smith and seeing some action elsewhere, he hit .250/.308/.625 with 3 homers and 7 RBI in 7 games. He tied for second in the Pan Ams in homers (even with Tyson Gillies, Alfredo Despaigne, Tyler O'Neill, Jeffrey Dominguez and José Adolis García, behind Anthony García) and tied for 5th in RBI (with Urmaris Guerra, Gillies, Dominguez and Raúl González).

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