Steve Kent wanted to pitch in the major leagues badly enough that he paid his own way to pitch for Braves officials at Turner Field.
Now it’™s the Braves who are paying Kent. They signed the Australian lefthander from the capital city of Canberra for a reported $280,000, according to the Canberra Times. Kent is a member of his country’™s junior national team and was in San Diego with his team this spring when he flew to Atlanta to work out for Braves officials.
“He’™s got a chance to throw three pitches for strikes,” Braves farm director Dayton Moore said. “He showed some desire and maturity with his workout for us.”
The Braves’™ biggest international signing came in January when they added Venezuelan shortstop Elvis Andrus, who will be 17 in August. Andrus is off to a .298-0-10 start in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
“We gave (Andy) Marte some money, and we gave Andrus some money in January,” Moore said. “When you do that in the international market, there’™s a balance of tools and their maturity. They have to show some poise and presence. You don’™t want to project too much. A scout once told me, ‘˜Project-project-project will get you fired-fired-fired.’™”