For any baseball player, getting the opportunity to pitch in the Major Leagues is an accomplishment but staying at the big league level is another obstacle. For one South Jersey High School Graduate, he got to pitch in Major League Baseball in 2018 and 2023 but now he may have to reinvent himself to keep his MLB dreams alive.

Selected in the 11th Round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Atlantic City High School Graduate Brett Kennedy has experienced an interesting Baseball journey.  After pitching at Fordham University, Kennedy spent four years in the San Diego Padres Minor League system before getting his call-up to the Major Leagues.

Brett Kennedy pitched for the San Diego Padres in 2018
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After starting six games for the Padres in 2018, Kennedy had to have season-ending knee surgery for patellar tendon debridement.  But when Kennedy was returning from his knee injury, he suffered a Lat Strain that derailed his 2019 season. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Minor Leagues were shut down for the 2020 season so Kennedy lost two years of Baseball.

After a rough 2021 Minor League Season with an 8.89 ERA in 17 Minor League Games, the Padres organization released Kennedy after six years with the organization. The Atlantic City High School Graduate had a bounce-back 2022 season with the Boston Red Sox organization compiling a 3.87 ERA in 25 games pitched.

Brett Kennedy pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in 2023
Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

Brett Kennedy made his way back to the Major Leagues during the 2023 MLB season with the Cincinnati Reds. After pitching three games in the Independent Atlantic League, Kennedy joined the Reds organization and would start his first game in five years on July 4th against the Washington Nationals. He would appear in five games for the Reds during a 2023 season that saw him shuttling up and down from the Minor Leagues.

The 29-year-old Pitcher will start the 2024 season with the Reds Minor League teams because he did not receive a Non-Roster invite to the 2024 Spring Training and signed a Minor League Deal with the team this offseason.  Kennedy again will have to prove himself to the organization in the Minor Leagues before getting another opportunity to pitch at the next level.

Even though he has been a starting pitcher most of his Professional Baseball career, Kennedy has pitched in 17 games coming out of the bullpen in the last two seasons.  As the Pitcher from Brigantine, New Jersey approaches his 30th Birthday, he may have the opportunity to prolong his Professional Baseball career by becoming a Relief Pitcher.  He allowed zero Earned Runs in two of his three games coming out of the bullpen for the Reds last season and in 2022, Kennedy had Five Saves for the Portland Sea Dogs in the Red Sox Minor Leagues.

Check Out Greater Atlantic City, NJ Area Athletes Who Played Games In NFL

Many people are not aware of the number of athletes from the Greater Atlantic City Region who have played in the National Football League. Football players who played at high schools in Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland, and Ocean Counties have a strong representation in the NFL over the last few decades.

One of the most difficult accomplishments in sports is to make a Professional Sports Roster and earn the opportunity to play in a game at the highest level of the sport. Check out some of the great South Jersey Athletes who have played in games in the NFL:

Gallery Credit: Joshua Hennig/Townsquare Media

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