Craig Kimbrel is an American-born professional baseball player. In November 2015 Kimbrel joined the MLB team Boston Red Sox, where he plays as a pitcher. In 2011 he made his MLB debut with the Atlanta Braves, scoring 46 parries, the best ever scored by a rookie. Kimbrel was named the Braves’ tighter pitcher and also received the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year award.
From 2011 to 2014 he held the record for the highest number of parries in the National League. In June 2015, Kimbrel scored his 200th rescue, and in May 2018 he reached the milestone of 300 games, becoming the youngest player to achieve this feat.
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Craig Kimbrel’s Biography
Craig Michael Kimbrel was born on May 28, 1988, in Huntsville, Alabama, the son of Mike and Sandy Kimbrel. He grew up together with 2 younger siblings, brothers Alan and Matt. He received his high school education at Lee High School in Huntsville, Alabama. He can be considered a late bloomer, as he did not make the elite baseball team at his school. For his college education, he received a scholarship to Wallace State Community College.
Craig Kimbrel first participated in the MLB Amateur Selection in 2007, where he was selected by the Atlanta Braves in round 33. However, Kimbrel decided to stay at Wallace State College for his second year and strengthen his draft position. His decision finally paid off as he was again selected by the Braves in round 3 of the 2008 draft round.
Craig Kimbrel Career
In less than two years, Kimbrel quickly passed through the Braves’ farming system before he finally received his first call-up to the Atlanta Braves on May 15, 2010.
On September 19, 2010, Craig Kimbrel scored his first major league rescue against the New York Mets. At the start of the 2011 season, which was to be his first full season, he was named the team’s first close pitcher. On July 7, Kimbrel recorded his 27th parry, breaking the previous record for most parries by a rookie before the All-Star break. Craig Kimbrel was eventually added to the 2011 MLB All-Star Game Ranking.
On August 17, 2011, Kimbrel scored his 37th save in his career, breaking the previous record for most parries by a newcomer (Todd Worrell-36) in a season. He ended August as National League Rookie of the Month and MLB Delivery Man of the Month. The following months were not so impressive for Craig Kimbrel, and the Braves did not make it to the playoffs. However, he ended the season with 46 saves, setting a new record for the most saves made by a rookie in a season. He was also unanimously voted “NL Rookie of the Year 2011” by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Craig Kimbrel was also selected for the 2012 All-Star Game and was in top form throughout the season. With 42 parries, he was the leading pitcher in the National League and he was also the leading pitcher in terms of probability of winning. In the 2012 season, he was also the first pitcher to take out at least half of the batting teams he faced in a season. Kimbrel also received the 2012 National League Rolaids Relief Man Award and spent two more successful seasons with the Braves before joining the San Diego Padres in April 2015. On 8 June he scored his 200th save against his former team, the Braves.
After just one season with the Padres, the talented player moved to the Boston Red Sox. Kimbrel had a tough 2016 season with the Red Sox, but in the 2017 season, he made a significant comeback that is considered one of his most impressive. Craig Kimbrel achieved his 300th save in his career against the Texas Rangers on 5 May 2018, becoming the youngest player to achieve this feat with the fewest number of appearances (494).
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Craig Kimbrel Trade And Salary
Craig Kimbrel joined the Atlanta Braves in the 2008 MLB Draft. In February 2014 he signed an additional 4-year contract worth $42 million. Under this deal, the pitcher would have stayed with the Braves until 2018, but just one year later, Krimbel was traded by the Braves alongside Melvin Upton Jr. in a swap with the San Diego Padres. As an elite closer, Kimbrel did not come cheap, as the Padres had to part with outfielders Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin, top prospects Matt Wisler and Jordan Paroubeck, and the 41st overall in the 2015 MLB Draft.
After only one season with the Padres, Craig Kimbrel switched to the Boston Red Sox in November 2015. It was a swap where the Sox separated from Logan Allen, Carlos Asuaje, Javy Guerra, and Manuel Margot. Through his 3-year contract with the Sox, he earned annual salaries of $11 million in 2016, $13 million in 2017, and $13 million in 2018, and is expected to become a free agent at the end of the 2018 election campaign.
Wife & Daughter
Craig Kimbrel is married to Ashley Holt. The duo met during their college years at Wallace State, where Ashley Holt was a member of the cheerleading squad. It is unclear when they officially got together, but the couple got engaged in May 2012, and a few months after their engagement, the couple entered into a marriage on December 1, 2012. On November 3, 2017, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Lydia Joy. However, little Lydia was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. The family moved to Boston in the low season of 2017, where their daughter Lydia underwent two surgical procedures at Boston Children’s Hospital to correct the defects.