March 14, 2024

From Eustis High to MLB: Kerry Carpenter’s Journey to Success

1.7 min read| Published On: March 14th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

From Eustis High to MLB: Kerry Carpenter’s Journey to Success

1.7 min read| Published On: March 14th, 2024|

Kerry Carpenter, who played high school baseball for Eustis High School in 2016, now shines with the Detroit Tigers. Carpenter transitioned from bagging groceries at a Eustis Publix supermarket to living his dream of playing baseball in the MLB.

Born on September 2nd, 1997, Carpenter made his MLB debut in 2022 for the Detroit Tigers. Primarily an outfielder, Carpenter exemplifies resilience, a trait that propelled him to his current status. His journey wasn’t always smooth. “In high school, I worked various odd jobs, from power washing buildings to tutoring classmates in math. My only formal employment was as a Front End Service staff at Publix Supermarkets in Eustis, Florida.”

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Carpenter had a remarkable high school career, boasting a .463 batting average with 3 home runs as a senior in 2016. After graduating, Carpenter attended St. Johns River State College, where he played two years of college baseball before transferring to Virginia Tech for the 2019 season. At Virginia Tech, he achieved a .272 batting average with ten home runs and 45 RBIs.

In the 2019 MLB Baseball draft, Carpenter was selected in the 19th round by the Detroit Tigers. Signing with them, he split his inaugural professional season between the Gulf Coast League Tigers and Connecticut Tigers, posting impressive stats: batting .303 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs over 47 games. The cancellation of the minor league season in 2020 halted his progress.

In fact in a report published by the Athletic “Kerry Carpenter spent part of the 2020 offseason working at Dick’s Sporting Goods. It was a way to make money he needed on top of his meager minor-league salary.”

In 2021, he played with the Erie SeaWolves, hitting .262 with 15 home runs, 74 RBIs, and 24 doubles over 112 games. His stellar performance earned him the title of Eastern League Player of the Month in May 2022.

On August 10, 2022, the Tigers selected Carpenter’s contract, promoting him to the Major League roster. He made his MLB debut the same day as Detroit’s starting designated hitter, though going hitless over four at-bats. Carpenter clinched his first MLB hit on August 14, a single versus the Chicago White Sox, and hit his first MLB home run on August 15 off Eli Morgan of the Cleveland Guardians. In the 2023 season, Carpenter played 118 games, batting .278 with 20 home runs and 64 RBIs.

In his personal life, Carpenter is a devout Christian, aiming to honor God through his athletic endeavors. He got engaged to his girlfriend, softball player Lauren Burke, in December 2023.

The success of Lake County athletes like Carpenter is inspiring. Despite the challenges, Carpenter’s journey to the MLB reflects his dedication and talent. As he demonstrates great promise in spring training this year, we eagerly anticipate his performance in 2024.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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