George Kenneth Rayborn
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 210 lb.
Kenny Rayborn went 11-2 in 3 seasons at AAA but never made the majors. He pitched in each of Asia's top three leagues. He was 32-12 overall in Organized Baseball. His career professional record through 2008 was an amazing 91-50.
Rayborn went 9-6 with a 4.35 ERA for the University of South Alabama in 1996. In 1997, he went 2-1 with a save and a 4.26 ERA. The Boston Red Sox picked him in the 17th round of the 1997 amateur draft. Kenny began his long pro career with the Lowell Spinners, going 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA and a save as the club's second-best hurler. In 1998, the Mississippi native was 4-2 with a 4.56 ERA for the Michigan Battle Cats, allowing 62 hits in 49 1/3 IP. Boston let the right-hander go.
During 1999, Rayborn pitched for the independent Greenville Bluesmen, going 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA; it should be noted that the club's other hurlers were a combined 20-49. Kenny was signed by the Seattle Mariners and fared well in 2000 with the Lancaster JetHawks (5-1, 2.91 in 21 G) and the New Haven Ravens (4-3, 4.86).
Rayborn stalled in 2001 with the San Antonio Missions, as the 26-year-old was 1-0 with a 6.86 ERA and .329 opponent average in 14 games. A free agent once more, he returned to the independent leagues with the Winnipeg Goldeyes, posting a 5-6, 3.63 record in 2002.
Kenny began 2003 with the Jackson Senators and dazzled, going 10-2 with a 2.27 ERA, best in the Central Baseball League. He was then sold to the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland started Rayborn with the Akron Aeros and he went 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 5 starts. That earned his first look at AAA, where he won his only start, allowing two runs in six innings for the Buffalo Bisons.
In 2004, the veteran hurler pitched for Akron (1-1, 6.75 in 6 G) and Buffalo (8-2, 3.64). The pitcher twice released by MLB clubs finished 9th in the International League in ERA, between James Baldwin and Willie Eyre. His 12 hit batsmen tied Mike Smith for the IL lead. Rayborn helped Buffalo win the Governor's Cup that season.
Kenny began 2005 with Buffalo, now moved to the bullpen, and went 2-0 with two saves and a 4.89 ERA in 17 games. He then signed on with Japan's Hiroshima Carp, going 3-5 with a 4.62 ERA in 11 starts, including one shutout.
Rayborn continued his adventures in Asia with the 2006 La New Bears of Taiwan, going 16-5 with a 1.94 ERA, allowing only 120 hits in 162 2/3 IP. That drew the interest of South Korea's SK Wyverns, who came calling next. Kenny continued his strong work in 2007, going 17-8 with a 3.27 ERA. He ranked 7th in the Korea Baseball Organization in ERA, between Myung-hwan Park and Jamie Brown. He tied Hyun-jin Ryu for second in wins behind leader Danny Rios. Kenny helped the Wyverns make their first Korean Series. He lost game one in a pitching duel against Rios, but came back with another strong start in game 5, when SK took the lead en route to claiming the 2007 Korean Series in six games.
In 2008, Rayborn fell to 5-3 in 26 starts and 133 ip for SK though his ERA remained steady at 3.30. He helped SK set a new KBO record for wins in a season. Rayborn finished 7th in the league in ERA between Min-han Son and Ryu. SK also won the 2008 Korean Series.