Former Mustang Dean Kremer one step closer to becoming 1st Israeli-American player to reach majors

Former San Joaquin Delta College pitcher Dean Kremer pitched for the Bowie Baysox in 2018. (Photo by Bert Hindman, Courtesy Baltimore Jewish Times)
Former San Joaquin Delta College pitcher Dean Kremer pitched for the Bowie Baysox in 2018. (Photo by Bert Hindman, Courtesy Baltimore Jewish Times)

BALTIMORE, Md. — The Baltimore Orioles announced Tuesday that they have added right-handed pitching prospect Dean Kremer to the 60-player pool for this season, making it possible for the 24-year-old to make his major league debut this season.

If he does, he will become the first Israeli-American player to reach the majors. Kremer is ranked as the O’s 9th best prospect by MLB Pipeline and he has risen quickly through the ranks of the organization since arriving in Baltimore as part of the Manny Machado trade in 2017. Kremer came close to reaching the big leagues last year when he posted a 3.80 ERA with 122 strikeouts over 113 2/3 innings across three levels ending at Triple-A. He was particularly effective as part of the rotation at Double-A Bowie going 9-4 in 15 starts for the team.

As part of the 60-player pool, Kremer will report to the team’s alternate training site in Bowie, MD when it opens later this week. In another move, the team optioned 31-year-old right-handed pitcher Hector Velasquez.

Kremer was born in California to Israeli parents and holds Israeli citizenship. He became the first Israeli to sign with an MLB team after being drafted in the 14th round by the Dodgers in 2016. Like legendary Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, he has assured reporters that he would not pitch on Yom Kippur and he takes his Jewish faith seriously.

Though maintaining the tradition can be difficult with life in professional baseball, Kremer says that it’s an important part of his life.

(Courtesy WJZ, CBS Baltimore)