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Jeff Keppinger

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Jeffrey Scott Keppinger

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jeff Keppinger first gained fame in college for hitting two home runs off consensus national player of the year Mark Prior in the College World Series.

Keppinger was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th round of the 2001 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Jack Powell in August and made his pro debut the next summer.

Keppinger had an excellent season for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, playing 115 games while hitting a team-best .325 with 9 homers and 40 RBI. He filled in ably for 3B Evan Longoria when he was out for an extended period with an injury, and also managed to to find some playing time substituting for Carlos Pena at 1B and Ben Zobrist at 2B after Longoria returned. He became a free agent after the season, but suffered a freak accident in the off-season, tripping on stairs at his home and fracturing his fibula in the calf area. He underwent surgery but was expected to be ready for the opening of spring training. When it was announced the New York Yankees superstar 3B Alex Rodriguez needed to undergo surgery on his hip and would miss a good chunk of the season, Keppinger became a prime candidate to replace him, but he spurned the Yankees' advances, deciding instead on December 5th to sign a three-year with the Chicago White Sox, worth $12 million.

Keppinger was stone cold at the start of his first season with the White Sox in 2013. Not only was he hitting a meager .153 with only one extra-base hit after 17 games, but he had managed the rare feat of having an on-base percentage below his batting average, at .149, as he had not drawn a single walk in 74 plate appearances.

Kepppinger's brother, Billy Keppinger, played minor league ball from 2000-2007.

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