Tyler Kinley joined the Minnesota Twins via rule 5 draft in 2018, then rejoined the Miami Marlins.
This February, Marlin Maniac is finishing up going over every player to appear in the Miami Marlins system in 2018. Tyler Kinley is the 276th part of 286.
Tyler Harrison Kinley is a 6’4″, 205 lb. right-handed batting and throwing pitcher from Plantation, Florida, population 93,909. Natives of the town have made it to the major leagues five times, including Kinley and 2B Tyler Greene.
Kinley was born on January 31st, 1991, and attended Nova HS in Davie, Florida. He then attended Barry University, a Division 2 school in Miami Shores. In two seasons for the Buccaneers, Kinley had a 1.51 WHIP and a 5-2 record with a 5.70 ERA and 41 K’s in 53 2/3 innings. Following the 2013 season, the Miami Marlins chose him in the 16th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, with the 472nd overall pick.
As a member of the “472 Club,” Kinley is the ninth player to reach the major leagues. The group is led by RHP Jake Peavy (1999, San Diego Padres, 39.6 career WAR). None of the remaining members of that group have a WAR above 0.0.
After coming to terms with the Miami Marlins, Kinley joined the rookie-level GCL Marlins in the Gulf Coast League for six games, posting a 4.50 ERA and striking out five in 12 innings.
In 2014, Kinley appeared in 28 games out of the bullpen for the full-season-A Greensboro Grasshoppers, in the South Atlantic League. He was 3-1 with 10 saves and a 2.70 ERA, 30 K’s in as many innings, and a dead-even 1.000 WHIP.
Pushed up to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League in 2015, Kinley came out of the pen 31 times and racked up 11 saves. He was 1-3 with a 3.25 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and 38 strikeouts in 44 innings of work.
Kinley spent most of 2016 with the Jacksonville Suns in the double-A Southern League, prior to their renaming as the Jumbo Shrimp. He saved five games and appeared in 36, with 51 K’s in 50 innings, a 1.28 WHIP, and a 3.96 ERA to his credit.
2017 would see Kinley split his season between the Jumbo Shrimp and the Hammerheads, getting into a career-high 50 games in total and saving 17 of them. He was 2-3 with a 3.54 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, and an elite-level 12.15 K/9 rate, or 72 in 53 innings.
Kinley’s potential was apparent at that point, and the Minnesota Twins spent a rule 5 draft pick on his services after the 2017 campaign. Getting selected in the major league portion of the rule 5 draft means that the drafted player must remain on the major league roster for the duration of the season. Kinley was locked in, or so it seemed at the time.
Through the month of April for Minnesota, Kinley appeared in four games, pitched 3 1/3 innings, and allowed nine earned runs for a 24.30 ERA and a 3.900 WHIP. Those out-of-these-world numbers prompted Minnesota to cede control of Kinley back to the Miami Marlins.
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From May through August, Kinley played in 40 games for the New Orleans Baby Cakes, in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He saved eight games, going 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA, 56 K’s in 40 frames, and a 1.35 WHIP. For the month of September, he joined the Marlins.
In nine games of work for the parent club, Kinley struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on six hits and four walks. He’s currently on the Miami Marlins 40-man roster, and has a good shot to make the Opening Day roster out of 2019 Spring Training.