Jeffrey Scott Keppinger is a professional baseball player from the United States of America. A student at the University of Georgia, “Jeff” as he is better known, had a .380 batting average in his years at collegiate baseball. In the 2001 College World Series, Jeff had a 2-run home run off Mark Prior. In the MLB Draft that same year, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th Round of the MLB Draft. While his batting average in the minors remained above .300, his home runs and RBIs dropped as compared to his college days.
Despite his high batting average, he was traded out to the New York Mets in 2004. With the AA-Binghamton Mets, Jeff took his batting average even higher and soon got a call from the Norfolk Tide in the AAA-league. His average was above .300 in the AAA-League as well and that earned him a call to the Major League roster in August. Jeff took like a duck to water, hitting at .284 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI in just 33 appearances.
He was sent back down to the Norfolk Tide at the beginning of 2005 and hit at .337. Kazuo Matsui, in the MLB squad, was placed on the disabled list placing Keppinger in a great position for another call up however, Jeff hurt his knee cap at around the same time and was out for the rest of the season.
In 2006, the Kansas City Royals picked Keppinger up and put him in their AAA-league team from Omaha. He received a call up to the MLB roster in August that year to replace Mark Teahen who was out for the rest of the season. Keppinger’s first major league hit in 2 years came in the form of a sliced shot against the Red Sox, that went a few feet inside the foul line pole on the right field resulting in 3-runs that broke the 4-4 tie in the game. The royals went on to win 10-4.
In January, after a poor season, Keppinger was designated for assignment and a few days later, the Cincinnati Reds came calling. In 2008, he fractured his patella against the Florida Marlins. He returned after a 15-day stint on the disabled list and came back to his regular position in the roster.