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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

John Kilner looked to be more consistent at single-A; Saw seven pro seasons, made AAA

John Kilner 1990 Greenville Braves card, Kilner posed with glove smiling

John Kilner wasn't pitching up to his own expectations, he told The Sumter Daily Item in 1987 and he knew one thing he needed to work on.

"Consistency," Kilner told The Daily Item of his problem the previous year. "Some days I would go out and pitch well and the next time not so well. I just have to be more consistent."

Kilner became consistent over the next few years, just not the consistency that he hoped for. He played that year at AA Greenville. He also played the next three there. He got a brief look at AAA, but he never made the majors.

Kilner's career began in 1983, signed by the Braves as a free agent out of Cleveland State University.

He played his first year in 1984 at rookie Pulaski. He went 4-3, with a 3.38 ERA. He moved to single-A Sumter for 1985, going 8-5, with a 3.80 ERA there.

That May in 1985, Kilner worked into the seventh inning of a game and struck out 15 batters, according to The Daily Item.

"Kilner had good velocity today and good control," Sumter manager Buddy Bailey told The Daily Item. "They might have helped him out some by swinging at some high pitches, but he kept the ball around the plate. His pitches seemed to have good movement on them."

Kilner moved to single-A Durham for 1986. He went 6-8, with a 4.53 ERA. It was in 1987 that he first made AA Greenville. His ERA hit 4.58.

He returned to Greenville for 1988, then again for 1989. He picked up 11 wins in 1988. He then turned reliever in 1989.

He got 30 outings at Greenville that year. He also saved a playoff game that sent the team to the Southern League championship series. He did so getting two eighth-inning strikeouts with the bases loaded, according to The Associated Press.

He also got 12 at AAA Richmond that year. He gave up 17 earned runs in 19.2 innings there.

The 1990 season turned out to be Kilner's fourth at Greenville. He got into 28 games, saving 15 of them. He also had a 2.75 ERA. It turned out to be his final season as a pro.

Kilner has since returned to the Cleveland area, where he is listed in 2015 as an instructor at All Prospect Sports Training in Valley View.
John Kilner 1990 Greenville Braves card, Kilner posed with glove smiling
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,012
Made the Majors: 898-44.6%
Never Made Majors:1,114-55.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 383
10+ Seasons in the Minors:220

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