Tuesday, May 21, 2013
2 Mat-Su Miners Players Drafted to Major Leagues
For AJ Holland and Ryan Kemp, the chance to play in the big leagues may soon be a reality.
For two Alaska Baseball League players, the chance to play in the big leagues may soon be a reality.
You could almost say AJ Holland and Ryan Kemp are baseball's version of identical twins. The two attended the same college, play for the same team –the Mat-Su Miners—and are now Major League Baseball draftees.
At first glance you might think the baseball buddies were born attached at the hip.
“This kid just, he won't leave me alone. He follows me everywhere,” joked Kemp about his teammate. “He wanted to get into all my classes so I can help him out,” said Holland about his friend, and the two share a similar work ethic and mindset when it comes to pursuing their goals.
But, what means the most to these guys can be found right on the mound. "We like to push each other and it has paid off for us,” said Kemp.
“I honestly can say that without this guy sitting right here, I wouldn't be in the same spot I am today," he continued; Holland shared his teammate’s sentiment.
Also, their mix of humor and skill makes for happy coaches.
“When it’s work time they work, when it’s listen time, they listen, when it’s goof-off time, they are the best at it,” said Brian Yocke, head coach of the Mat-Su Miners.
Ryan Kemp has signed with the Cincinnati Reds and AJ Holland with the Atlanta Braves.
Even though their time here in Alaska and the Alaska Baseball League was short, they say they are proud to be part of a community that shows so much support.