PATRICK KIVLEHAN, CORNER OUTFIELDER
|Born: December 22, 1989
Drafted: 4th Round, 131st Overall, 2012 (Mariners)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Rutgers University
Agents: Pro Agents, Inc.
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Kivlehan was an unusual story when he was drafted. He was a football player at Rutgers, playing baseball only in his fourth year. In his one baseball season, he won the Big East Conference triple crown while batting 399/484/710 with 14 home runs. Scouts have always regarded his swing as unorthodox. He hit very well as he moved up through the minors, but he was always quite old for the levels he played at. He generally maintained respectable walk and K rates, but when he reached AAA pitchers were able to get him to chase outside the zone a lot. He was drafted as a third baseman, but his arm was regarded as fringy for the position. He nevertheless played there most of the time in the minors, but he started playing first and the outfield increasingly in the upper minors. In the majors he’s played mostly in the outfield. He runs fairly well. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2019.
Kivlehan hit very well in the Northwest League, albeit with a very high K rate. He played exclusively at third. Baseball America rated him the #10 prospect in the league and #18 in the Mariners’ system.
Seattle sent Kivlehan to low A and he didn’t hit much there. He got hot, though, after a June promotion, but some of that undoubtedly was the hitting-happy California League. His K rate declined to a more reasonable level. He again played third exclusively, but had some trouble with errors. BA rated him seventh in that league and 12th in the Seattle system.
Kivlehan opened the season back in the California League, but the Mariners moved him up to AA in May. He continued to hit well at both levels, including improved walk and K rates. He split his time between first and third in the Cal League, then played first, third and the outfield — mostly third — in AA. BA ranked him the Mariners’ fourth best prospect.
Kivlehan spent the season in AAA and his hitting tailed off. He still showed good power, but became much less patient. He played first, third and all three outfield positions. One negative was that he played the season at age 25. Seattle added him to the 40-man roster after the season, but traded him a short time later to Texas. BA rated him 25th in the Texas system after the trade.
Kivlehan had an eventful season. He got off to a terrible start in AAA and the Rangers designated him for assignment in May, then traded him back to Seattle. His hitting recovered in AAA with the Mariners, but with bad walk and K rates. Seattle removed him from the 40-man roster in August and the Padres claimed him off waivers. He hit well in AAA for San Diego and saw a little time in the majors, but the Padres removed him from the roster near the end of the season and the Reds claimed him off waivers. He got into a little action with the Reds, but they outrighted him after the season. Overall, he had a sharply increased K rate and seldom walked. He played third, first and the outfield, in descending order of frequency.
The Reds called Kivlehan up at the beginning of the season and he spent the year with them. He played mostly in the outfield, including a few games in center, but also played a little at first and third. He showed some power and walked at a solid rate, but had trouble making contact. The Reds outrighted him after the season. He declared free agency, but re-signed with Cincinnati on a minor league deal.
The Reds sent Kivlehan to AAA, but he struggled there and they released him in May. He signed a minor league deal with the Mets and spent most of the season in AAA. He hit for a lot of power there, although it probably helped that he was playing in a strong hitters environment at Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League. The Mets traded him to Arizona in September and the D’backs called him up. He got a little playing time with them, but was outrighted after the season.
Kivlehan got a chance to compete for a major league spot in spring training, but Melky Cabrera’s signing effectively squashed that. Still, Lonnie Chisenhall has an extensive injury history, so opportunities might occur. The fact that Kivlehan can play first and third could also help him. He has some power, which the Pirates lack, but given his strike zone issues it’s questionable how much potential he has.
|2019: Minor league salary
|Signing Bonus: $300,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: 8/20/2016
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible: 2023
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: November 20, 2015 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2016)
MLB Service Time: 1.035
|June 5, 2012: Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 4th round, 131st overall pick; signed on June 9.
November 20, 2015: Contract purchased by the Seattle Mariners.
December 2, 2015: Designated as player to be named later in trade, originally made on November 15; traded by the Seattle Mariners with Tom Wilhelmsen and James Jones to the Texas Rangers for Leonys Martin and Anthony Bass.
May 23, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers.
May 29, 2016: Traded by the Texas Rangers to the Seattle Mariners for Justin De Fratus.
August 1, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners.
August 4, 2016: Claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners by the San Diego Padres.
September 21, 2016: Designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres.
September 28, 2016: Claimed off waivers from the San Diego Padres by the Cincinnati Reds.
October 6, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Cincinnati Reds; outrighted to AAA on October 10.
April 2, 2017: Called up by the Cincinnati Reds.
November 3, 2017: Outrighted to AAA by the Cincinnati Reds; declared free agency on November 6.
November 17, 2017: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Cincinnati Reds.
May 1, 2018: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.
May 9, 2018: Signed as a minor league free agent by the New York Mets.
September 6, 2018: Traded by the New York Mets to the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash considerations.
September 6, 2018: Called up by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
October 10, 2018: Outrighted to AAA by the Arizona Diamondbacks; declared free agency on October 11.
October 30, 2018: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.