It’s only fitting that this would happen during the week of the Major League Baseball draft. Lihue native and 2009 undrafted free agent signee of the Tampa Bay Rays Kirby Yates is headed to the big leagues for the first time.
Yates, a 2005 graduate of Kauai High, got the big call-up late last night after a game against AAA Pawtucket.
Since signing with Tampa Bay, Kirby has done nothing but dominate the minor leagues. He was named as the Rays’ minor league reliever of the year in 2013 after sporting a 1.90 earned run average with 93 strikeouts in only 62.1 innings with 20 saves for AAA Durham.
This year, Yates has turned up the heat, punching out 35 hitters in 25 innings with a microscopic 0.36 ERA.
Kirby joins the big league fraternity with his brother Tyler, who played for the Mets, Braves, and Pirates from 2004-2007. They are now the second Hawai’i born siblings to become major leaguers, joining Dane and Bronson Sardinha.