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Dean Kremer

(1996 - )

dean kremer

Dean Kremer is an Israeli–American professional baseball player in the Baltimore Orioles organization. In 2015 he became the first Israeli drafted by a Major League Baseball team. In international competition, Kremer pitched for the Team USA baseball team in the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel, winning a gold medal. The following two years he pitched for Israel in the qualifying for the European Baseball Championship, and won the Most Valuable Pitcher award in both 2014 and 2015. He also pitched in September 2016 in the qualifier for Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 38th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft, becoming the first Israeli to ever be selected in the MLB draft, but chose not to sign. He was drafted again, this time by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 14th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, and did sign.

Kremer was born and raised in Stockton, California, and is Jewish. He had his bar mitzvah in Israel. Discussing the decision by Jewish Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax to not pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur, Kremer said: "I would do the same."

Kremer lives in Israel for two months of every year, and has dual Israeli-American citizenship. His parents, Adi and Sigal Kremer, are Israeli, and after they completed their service in the Israel Defense Forces they moved together to the United States. His father played college tennis at University of the Pacific, which he attended on a tennis scholarship. Kremer is fluent in Hebrew, and the family speaks Hebrew at home.

He has two younger brothers, Ron and Niv. His grandparents live in Israel, in Tel Aviv and in Rishon LeZion, and most of his extended family lives in Israel. His great-uncle is American-Israeli businessman and philanthropist Haim Saban.

Professional Career

In June 2015, at 19 years of age, Kremer became the first Israeli ever to be selected in the Major League Baseball draft, when he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 38th round. He had been projected to go much higher in the draft, but he had already committed to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and told interested MLB teams that he intended to attend the school for a year. He chose to honor his commitment and play college baseball for the UNLV Rebels, leaving three years on his eligibility at the time, with the plan of playing professionally after college.

In the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, Kremer was picked 431st overall, in the 14th round, by the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the time, he threw a fastball in the 90-93 mph range that sometimes reached 94 miles per hour (151 km/h)-95 miles per hour (153 km/h), a slider, a curveball, and a splitter. Kremer made his professional debut on July 3, 2016 for the Ogden Raptors of the Rookie Pioneer League. On August 11, he was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons of the Class A Midwest League. Kremer finished his first professional regular season between the two teams with a 2-1 record and a 2.27 ERA.  

The Dodgers assigned Kremer to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the Class A+ California League for the 2017 season, where he made 33 appearances (with six starts) and was 1–4 with a 5.18 ERA, and struck out 96 batters in 80 innings.

On July 18, 2018, Kremer was traded to the Baltimore Orioles along with Yusniel Diaz, Rylan Bannon, Zach Pop, and Breyvic Valera for Manny Machado. He was assigned to the Bowie Baysox of the Double-A Eastern League.

Kremer became the first Israeli to play in the Major Leagues when he made his debut in September 2020. In his first start, Kremer struck out seven and allowed just one hit and one earned run in six innings in a 5-1 victory over the New York Yankees 5-1.

Kremer competed several times for the Israel national baseball team in international tournaments as the team's ace starting pitcher. Kremer pitched for the Team USA baseball team in the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel, and won the gold medal in the Games. Kremer pitched for Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic main tournament, in March 2017.

Kremer is a role model for Israeli kids. “We’re just showing the kids over there that it’s possible,” he said.

Sources: Dean Kremer, Wikipedia;
Marcy Oster, “Dean Kremer, first Israeli drafted into the Major Leagues, notches a win in Orioles pitching debut,” JTA, (September 7, 2020).