Gerald Hubert Kemp (Hugh)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 190 lb.
- School University of Georgia
Pitcher Hugh Kemp was drafted in the 13th round of the 1983 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He reached AAA for the Reds from 1985 to 1989 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990, but never made the majors. His nephew Chris Kemp played in the minors then was a scout.
Kemp debuted as a pro with the Billings Mustangs, going 9-3 with a 2.21 ERA and fanning 138 in 110 innings. He allowed only three home runs that summer. He led the Pioneer League in ERA by .42, tied Derek Lee and Pete Grim for the most wins, led in shutouts (3), led in strikeouts and led in complete games for a pitching Triple Crown. He was named one of three All-Star pitchers in the circuit, alongside Jeff Montgomery and Joaquin Torres. He fanned 20 Medicine Hat Blue Jays in one game and was voted one of the top 10 prospects in the league by Baseball America.
In 1984, Kemp was 11-9 with a 2.79 ERA for the Cedar Rapids Reds, finishing 10th in the Midwest League in ERA. He continued his rise in '85 with the Tampa Tarpons (5-1, 1.56, 47 H in 69 1/3 IP), Vermont Reds (5-3, 3.33) and Denver Zephyrs (2-3, 3.12). Overall, he struck out 154 in 188 innings and tossed five shutouts. He would never drop back below AAA.
Hugh was with Denver for all of 1986, going 10-7 with a 4.11 ERA but walking 80 in 171 innings. He was second on Denver in both walks and Ks (106), trailing Pat Pacillo. In 1987, he fell to 6-10, 4.64 despite pitching away from high-altitude Denver with the Nashville Sounds. He was with Nashville for the next two seasons as well - 13-10, 4.30 in 1988 and 6-9, 5.34 in 1989 with 71 walks in 123 innings. His 16 homers allowed in '88 tied Leonard Damian for the American Association lead. With the 1990 Buffalo Bisons, he put up a solid 7-7, 3.42 season with only 27 walks in 134 1/3 innings but Pittsburgh had a rotation of Doug Drabek, John Smiley, Bob Walk, Neal Heaton and Zane Smith, so they didn't need the help. Given other circumstances, Kemp could have gotten the call to The Show.
Overall, Hugh was 74-62 with a 3.67 ERA in 207 minor league games.