Kevin James Richards
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 178 lb.
- High School Roosevelt High School
Pitcher Kevin Richards was taken by the Detroit Tigers as the fifth overall draft pick in the 1977 amateur draft. He was taken ahead of players like Ozzie Smith, Tim Raines, Bob Welch and Dave Henderson, but unlike those future All-Stars, he never reached the majors, peaking at AA. The only players chosen ahead of him were Harold Baines, Bill Gullickson, Paul Molitor and Tim Cole (who also never made the big leagues).
He began his professional career in 1977, pitching for the Bristol Tigers and going 3-2 with a 4.60 ERA. In 43 innings, he allowed 40 hits while walking 31 batters and striking out 46. He did not play at all in 1978, presumably due to injury.
In 1979, Richards pitched for the Lakeland Tigers and went 3-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 14 games (four starts). The following year, with the Montgomery Rebels, he went 7-8 with a save and 4.85 ERA in 28 games (18 starts). He walked 66 batters and struck out only 45 in 115 innings.
He began the 1981 season in the Tigers organization, but after posting a 30.00 ERA in four games with the Birmingham Barons (9 H, 6 BB in 3 IP), he wound up in the Texas Rangers system. He pitched for the Tulsa Drillers and performed well with them, going 5-5 with a save and a 3.22 ERA in 17 games. Overall, he went 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA on the season.
1982 was his final season. Pitching again for the Oilers, he went 4-5 with a 4.68 ERA in 29 games (9 starts). He walked 54 and threw 10 wild pitches in 92 1/3 innings.
Overall, Richards went 22-22 with a 4.42 ERA in 105 games (53 starts).