Hens spotlight: Kenny Baugh
Position: RHP Height/Weight: 6-4, 195 Age: 26 (born Feb. 5, 1979) Hometown: Houston
2005: Has a 5-5 record and 3.47 ERA, ninth-best in the International League, in 16 starts. Baugh's ERA is a better indicator of how he has pitched, since he has made a team-leading 12 quality starts - starts of six innings or more where he has allowed three earned runs or fewer. The Hens have scored an average of 4.0 runs per start, the lowest total among the team's starters. Baugh has struck out 61 and walked 34 in 96 innings.
Career: Baugh is in his third full pro season, all of which have been spent in the Tigers' farm system. Last season he went 8-8 for Double-A Erie with a 3.72 ERA that ranked eighth-best in the Eastern League. Missed the entire 2002 season because of a torn labrum that required surgery in June of that year. Was Detroit's top pick in the 2001 draft, selected 11th overall. Was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 70th round in 1997, then picked in the fifth round by Oakland in 2000 but did not sign either time. Was a two-time all-American at Rice, pitching the Owls to a spot in the College World Series in 2001. Received a degree in sports medicine. Graduated from Houtson Lamar High School (4.0 GPA).
AT THE PLATE
Baseball player you admired growing up: I watched every sport growing up, and I liked to look at great athletes. Some of the guys I liked because they were competitors were guys like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. On the baseball front, Nolan Ryan was a great competitor. I also played shortstop growing up, so I loved watching Ozzie [Smith].
Favorite college football team: Although I went to Rice, I had a lot of friends that went to the University of Texas. My mom went to the University of Texas, so I always watched Texas. I love my Rice Owls, but I always was a UT fan, too.
If you could meet one player, dead or alive, who would it be? Jackie Robinson. I'd like to sit down and talk with him about what he went through and how he persevered through everything. He seems to be a guy I'd love to have dinner with, or even just ask one question to. That would be awesome.
Favorite CD/song: I love music in general, but the CD I listen to a lot is a guy by the name of Common. His new CD, Be, is the one that's getting the most play in my car.
Favorite pizza topping: Mushrooms.
Favorite city in the International League, other than Toledo: I have to say Indianapolis. We didn't get a chance to go out when we were there because it was freezing, but it's a big city where it seemed like there was a lot going on. I'm looking forward to going back and experiencing the city.
If you were commissioner of baseball for a day, what would you do? I would try to get the fans back in baseball. I'd like to get the steroids stuff out of the way and bring the fun back to the game.
Favorite way to spend time away from the field: I like being around friends and family, and sometimes I like to be off by myself listening to music.
Favorite sports memory: In the College World Series I got into a jam by loading the bases in the first two innings, but I managed to squeak my way out of it. From then on, [ESPN announcer] Harold Reynolds called me "Houdini." Getting a chance to clown around with him at the hotel and at the ballpark, and having him call me "Houdini" for the rest of the week, was a fond memory.
Something nobody knows about you: People think I'm really quiet and keep to myself, but once you get to know me you find out I'm really silly and I like to laugh. And I can sing a little bit - at least I like to think I can. I've got a little artistic sense to me, and that surprises people, too. I'm pretty creative with photography. And I'm learning the guitar a little bit, and that's exciting.
- John Wagner