Kyle A. Sleeth
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 205 lb.
- School Wake Forest University
- High School Northglenn High School
Kyle Sleeth was the #3 overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft but his career was cut short by injury.
Sleeth was taken in the 18th round of the 2000 amateur draft by the Baltimore Orioles. As a freshman, he led nationally-ranked Wake Forest with 10 wins (he lost 3 and had a 5.03 ERA). In 2002, Kyle went 14-0 with a 2.97 ERA and 113 K in 118 IP. Baseball America, Baseball Weekly, NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball all rated him as a second-team college All-American. He was third in NCAA Division I in wins, leading the Atlantic Coast Conference. He was second in the ACC in strikeouts and third in ERA. Sleeth made the All-Conference team. Baseball America named him the top pitching prospect in college baseball.
Sleeth also pitched for the US national team in 2002, going 7-1 with a 1.44 ERA, 56 strikeouts and 36 hits allowed in 56 innings. Sleeth's lone loss came against Cuba in the finale of the World University Championship. Overall, Kyle was 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in that tourney. In the 2002 Haarlem Baseball Week, he shut out Taiwan 2-0 in the opener and beat The Netherlands in the finals.
Kyle returned to Wake Forest in 2003 for another fine year, going 7-3 with a 2.81 ERA and making the All-Conference team once more. Despite not being rated an All-American, Sleeth was the first pitcher taken in the 2003 amateur draft, one slot ahead of Tim Stauffer. Delmon Young and Rickie Weeks were the only players taken earlier. Sleeth was signed by scout Bill Buck for a $3,350,000 bonus, but signed late and did not get a chance to pitch in the minors that year.
In 2004, Sleeth made his professional debut, going 3-4 with a 3.67 ERA and over a strikeout per inning for the Lakeland Tigers. Promoted to the Erie SeaWolves, he struggled (4-4, 6.30). Baseball America rated him the #20 prospect in the Florida State League. He pitched in the 2004 Futures Game, getting the final out and the save in a 4-3 win by the USA.
Sleeth suffered an elbow injury and did not pitch in 2005, undergoing Tommy John surgery. In 2006, he returned with poor results. He was 1-0 with one save and a 3.63 ERA in 5 games for the GCL Tigers, but 1-4 with a 11.90 ERA in 8 games for Lakeland, walking 21 and striking out 7 in 19 2/3 IP while allowing a .291 average. In 2007, he went 1-9, 8.11, between Erie and Lakeland, allowing 107 hits in 78 innings. At the end of spring training 2008, he announced his retirement, explaining that he had failed to regain his velocity since the surgery.
His repertoire included a fastball that peaked in the mid-90s, slider, curveball and changeup.