Gregory Charles Keagle
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.
- School Monroe Community College, Florida International University
- High School Horseheads High School
- Debut April 1, 1996
- Final Game May 26, 1998
- Born June 28, 1971 in Corning, NY USA
Greg Keagle was 83-89 in 12 years in professional baseball, including parts of three seasons in the major leagues.
Greg was 3-9 with a 3.14 ERA in his last year at college for a team that was otherwise over .500 but he ranked third in the Transamerica Conference in ERA and struck out a Conference-leading 110 batters in 95 innings. He allowed 65 hits but walked 60.
The Draft and Minors
Keagle was selected in the sixth round, 170th overall, in the 1993 amateur draft by the San Diego Padres. Assigned to the Spokane Indians, Greg was 3-3 with a 3.25 ERA in his professional debut. He averaged almost a strikeout per inning but control remained iffy.
Keagle dominated for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in 1994: he was 11-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 14 games, allowing only 62 hits in 92 IP while striking out 91, though he walked 41. He made the California League All-Star team and would have led the league in ERA had he qualified. Promoted to the Wichita Wranglers, he struggled as his success did not carry over. He went only 3-9 with a 6.27 ERA in 13 starts for Wichita. Overall, his 14 wins led the Padres minor leaguers that season. Baseball America named him the best pitching prospect in the California League that year.
1995 was less successful for Greg. He had a 4.50 ERA in 2 appearances for Rancho Cucamonga, went 4-9 with a 5.11 ERA for the Memphis Chicks (still averaging over a strikeout per inning, though) and was 7-6 with a 4.28 ERA for the Las Vegas Stars. Overall, he led San Diego farmhands in losses in a reverse of the prior campaign. He tied six other pitchers for the most defeats in the minor leagues.
He remained in the Padres organization until September 17, 1995, when it was announced that he was the player to be named later in a deal that occurred on July 31st of that year. The Padres had sent Andy Benes and a player to be named to the Seattle Mariners for Ron Villone and Marc Newfield.
He was used almost entirely as a starter in the minors, appearing in only one game in relief before his first call to the Majors.
As a Rule V selection, Keagle had to be on the Tigers' Opening Day roster in 1996, and he made his debut in their first game of the season, April 1st, facing the Minnesota Twins. He pitched three innings in his first big league game, surrendering three hits, walking two and striking out two. He allowed one earned run. His first career strikeout victim was Chuck Knoblauch. He then struck out Rich Becker, who followed Knoblauch in the batting order.
Keagle did not have a very successful rookie season. In 26 games (6 started), he posted a 3-6 record with a ERA of 7.39. He also walked 68 batters in 87 2/3 innings of work. He had a 2-3, 10.00 record in 6 starts for the Toledo Mud Hens as he was no more effective at AAA than he had been in the majors.
He was used mostly as a starter in the final two seasons of his major league career, 1997 and 1998. He won 3 and lost 8 combined in those final two years, posting a career-best MLB ERA of 5.59 in 1998. He didn't average five innings a start in his final two seasons. He spent part of both seasons in Toledo, going 11-7 with a 3.81 ERA the first year. He was 8th in the International League in ERA and led Tigers farmhands with 140 strikeouts. In 1998, he was 5-3 with a 4.63 ERA for Toledo.
Perhaps the best game of his major league career came on September 12, 1997 against the Oakland Athletics. He threw 7 fine innings of work, giving up only 5 hits, 1 run (a home run to Scott Spiezio) walking only 1 and striking out 9 batters.
Overall, his career major league record was 6-16. He posted an ERA of 6.76, and in 171 2/3 innings of work, he walked 106 batters and struck out 123. He pitched in a total of 46 games in his major league career, starting exactly half of those. He hit a total of 18 batters in his career, or one every 9.53 innings of work.
He had only one career at-bat in the majors - facing Denny Neagle of the Atlanta Braves on September 2, 1997, he struck out. He committed no errors in his MLB career, for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
He played his final big league game on May 26, 1998. Using the similarity scores method, statistically, he is most similar to Carl Doyle and Nick Bierbrodt. He wore number 57 during his time in the majors.
Back to the Minors
Although his major league career ended in 1998, his professional career lasted until 2005. He stayed in the Tigers' organization in 1999. He made three stops that year, going 1-4 with a 7.16 ERA in 7 games for Toledo, 4-2 with a 2.85 ERA for the Jacksonville Suns (9 outings) and 1-3, 4.50 in 6 games for the Lakeland Tigers.
He split time between the Edmonton Trappers (getting shelled for 5 runs in 3 innings in his lone game) and the Elmira Pioneers in 2000, where he threw the first no-hitter in Pioneers history (and just one of three in Northern League East history). He was 9th in the league in ERA and made the league All-Star team as the top right-hander. He was 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA for the team.
Becoming a player/coach for the Pioneers in 2001, Greg went 5-5 with a 3.29 ERA, fifth in the eastern division of the Northern League. The wild man walked just 25 in 109 IP that year. Keagle was 10-9 with a 2.92 ERA in 2002, allowing 101 hits and 37 walks in 144 IP while whiffing 119. He was fourth in the eastern division of the Northern League in ERA.
Returning to Organized Baseball, the veteran hurler went just 0-2 with a 14.85 ERA for the Albuquerque Isotopes, allowing a .451 average and over a walk per inning as he had no more independent league opponents to beat up on.
He last played in 2005 with the Elmira Pioneers of the Can-Am Association, posting a record of 4-7, 6.81.
Overall, he spent six professional seasons as a teammate of Raul Casanova - longer than any other teammate.