Steven Kent (minors)
Steven John Kent
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 200 lb.
- High School Gold Creek High School
He was signed by Atlanta Braves scout Phil Dale as a 16-year-old and made his pro debut in 2006 with the GCL Braves, going 1-4 with a 4.00 ERA. He was 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA for the same club the next year, issuing only 12 walks in 56 innings. In the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, he made his Australian national team debut. He helped Team Canada (which would beat out Australia for one of the 2008 Olympics slots) to 3 runs in 7 innings in a win; Brad Tippett relieved. In his other start, though, he was hammered for 7 runs in under 2 innings against South Africa before Scott Mitchinson relieved and the Aussies rallied for a 13-11 win.
Kent was 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA for the 2008 Danville Braves, fanning 31 in 29 2/3 IP. After missing 2009 following Tommy John Surgery, he bounced back with the Rome Braves in 2010, going 2-0 with a save and a 0.69 ERA in 19 games. He struck out 54 and walked 8 in 39 1/3 IP while allowing only 27 hits. Opponents hit .180 against him. He was 0-3 with a 10.66 ERA in the 2010-2011 ABL, pitching for the Canberra Cavalry in the first season of the revived Australian Baseball League.
He struggled with Rome in 2011, posting a 7.77 ERA and 1-4 record in 12 outings, allowing 74 hits in 48 2/3 IP, a far cry from the prior campaign, and was released by the Braves in midseason. Competing for Australia in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, he recorded a win and two saves for the team while posting a 1.35 ERA. He saved Brendan Wise's win over the Dominican national team, got a win over host Panama and tossed three shutout innings to save Kable Hogben's 3-2 win over South Korea in the 5th/6th place game to give Australia its best finish yet in a Baseball World Cup.
He bounced back to go 5-1 with six saves and a 3.26 ERA in the 2011-2012 ABL. He tied Hayden Beard, Geoff Brown, Cameron Lamb and Warwick Saupold for second in the ABL in wins, one behind Daniel Schmidt. He also tied Ryan Beckman for third in saves. He was 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA for the Aces in 2012-2013. In the 2013 World Baseball Classic, he allowed only one hit in two shutout innings, fanning one against South Korea in a 6-0 loss. He tied Andrew Russell for the most shutout innings for Australia in the Classic.
Kent did not pitch again until the 2014-2015 ABL, having his second Tommy John surgery to sideline him; he allowed 4 hits, 4 walks and 6 runs (5 earned) in 3 1/3 IP that year. He was back in form by 2015-2016, though, going 6-4 with a 3.04 ERA. He was 7th in the ABL in ERA (between Rick Teasley and Matt Larkins), tied Brian Grening and Larkins for 4th in wins and was third with 79 K (behind Edwin Carl and Grening), fanning over a batter per inning. He was re-signed by the Braves five years after they had let him go.
In the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he started the opener against a Philippines national team composed almost entirely of Filipino-American ringers, two of them being former major leaguers. He turned in a gem, allowing four hits, a walk and one run in six while fanning seven to get the win. Peter Moylan wrapped up the game. Australia wound up winning a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.