middleton
Photo: MLB

#99

P

Keynan Middleton

Keenan Anthony Middleton

Height: 6'3"    Weight: 215

Bats/Throws: Right / Right

Born: 09/12/1993 in Portland, Oregon

College: Lane Community College (Eugene, OR)

Family: Daughters Kamrynn and Karter

Acquired: Signed as a free agent (12/16/2020)

MLB Debut: 05/05/2017

Free Agent after: 2023 season

Twitter handle: @since93key

Keynan Middleton is coming home—give or take 170 miles along I-5. The 27-year-old Portland native was picked in the third round of the 2013 draft by the then-named Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, headed by one Jerry Dipoto. What’s amazing is where he was drafted from: Lane Community College in Eugene. You wouldn’t think many players would be drafted out of community college, but Baseball Reference lists 14 players taken from Lane alone. None went higher in the draft than Middleton, though, and none of the others made the bigs. “Basketball was honestly my No. 1 sport,” Middleton told The Olympian in December. “When they ended up drafting me, it was honestly like a shock to me, because I was not ready to play pro ball.” Four years later he was, and made his MLB debut against the World Series-bound and trash-can enthusiastic Houston Astros. Carlos Beltran doubled on his first pitch but Middleton had a good rookie season, going 6-1 with a 3.86 ERA. His next two seasons were truncated by Tommy John surgery, and last season was truncated by the COVID pandemic. It was also an off year for him. He was throwing the ball faster than ever but posted a 5.25 ERA in 13 games. The first Keynan (pronounced kee-nin) in MLB history and only the third Middleton, after Jim and John who played a century ago, he’s ready for a full season in Seattle. As is his family. “They’re so hyped,” he told The Olympian. “All they do is watch Mariners games.”

EL, 3/21/21