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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Zachary Kerr pitched strongly at high-A in 1990, but arm troubles soon ended career; Saw four seasons, made high-A

The Orioles system had some good young pitchers in 1990, but few pitched better in the early going than 24th-round draft pick Zachary Kerr, The Baltimore Sun wrote that June.

By then, Kerr had amassed an 8-1 record at high-A Frederick and a 2.26 ERA, as he turned some Oriole heads, The Sun wrote.

"We signed him as a filler type, told him to come aboard and we'd get him a chance," Orioles player personnel director Doug Melvin told The Sun then. "But this kid keeps going out and pitching and winning."

Kerr eventually won 14 games for Frederick that year, to seven losses. He also ended with a 2.94 ERA. That season, however, wasn't enough. He returned to Frederick briefly in 1991, but arm problems helped abruptly end his career after four campaigns. He topped out at high-A.

Kerr's career began in 1988, taken by the Orioles in the 24th round out of New Mexico State University. Kerr was also credited as Zack Kerr and Zach Kerr.

He started with the Orioles at rookie Bluefield. He saw 17 outings, seven starts. He went 1-4, with a 7.69 ERA.

Kerr then moved to Frederick at single-A and short-season Erie in 1989. He went 6-5 between them, with a 3.05 ERA. 

Kerr returned to Frederick at high-A for 1990 and had that big 14-7 campaign over 26 starts. That August, he went eight innings in a win, giving up three hits, The Newport News Daily Press wrote.

"He looked the way he's looked most of the year," Peninsula Manager Jim Nettles told The Daily Press afterward of Kerr. "In and out, up and down. He got ahead in the count and changed speeds. He's pretty good at it."

But injuries - and his age - ultimately got to him, The Sun wrote. Kerr started 1991 in extended spring training due to arm issues. He got back to Frederick for eight more outings, three starts. But, that July, at age 25, the Orioles released him, ending his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,099
Made the Majors:1,357-33.1%
Never Made Majors:2,742-66.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:553
10+ Seasons in the Minors:335

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