Richard Heath Hembree (born January 13, 1989), nicknamed Heater,[1] is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). Listed at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and 210 pounds (95 kg), he throws and bats right-handed. He made his MLB debut with the San Francisco Giants in 2013.

Heath Hembree
Heath Hembree.jpg
Hembree with the Red Sox in 2017
Boston Red Sox – No. 37
Pitcher
Born: (1989-01-13) January 13, 1989 (age 30)
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 3, 2013, for the San Francisco Giants
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Win–loss record13–5
Earned run average3.52
Strikeouts272
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early yearsEdit

Hembree played baseball and high school football at Broome High School in his hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He was a standout pitcher and quarterback for Broome, but did not pitch as a senior in 2007, due to a knee injury suffered playing football. Instead, Hembree was a designated hitter his senior season; he had a .320 batting average.[2]

Amateur careerEdit

Hembree initially attended the University of South Carolina, but only had one pitching appearance his entire freshman season in 2008. He then transferred to Spartanburg Methodist College, a junior college that is part of the National Junior College Athletic Association. As a transfer sophomore, he went 7–0 with a 1.22 earned run average (ERA). After receiving a scholarship to the College of Charleston, an NCAA Division I school, Hembree transferred there, where he spent his final season of college baseball.[3] He also pursued a degree in physical education.

Professional careerEdit

San Francisco GiantsEdit

Hembree was drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants.

2010

Hembree began his professional career in 2010, pitching for the rookie league Arizona League Giants and going 0–0 with a 0.82 ERA over 12 relief appearances, with 22 strikeouts and 3 saves in 11 innings pitched.

2011

Hembree began the 2011 season pitching for the Class A-Advanced San Jose Giants, and was promoted to the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels in late June. He went a combined 1–1 with a 1.86 ERA over 54 relief appearances, with 78 strikeouts and 38 saves in ​53 13 innings.

2012

During 2012, Hembree pitched for the San Jose Giants (5 games) and the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies (39 games). Overall, he had a 4.19 ERA with 1–1 record, 15 saves, and 43 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched.

2013
 
Hembree with the San Francisco Giants in 2013

Hembree spent most of 2013 with Triple-A Fresno, where he appeared in 54 games, compiling a 4.07 ERA with 1–4 record, 31 saves, and 63 strikeouts is ​55 13 innings pitched.

Late in the season, he was called up to the majors for the first time on September 3.[4] He made his MLB debut that day, pitching a scoreless eighth inning in a 3–2 loss to the San Diego Padres.[5] He appeared in a total of nine MLB games for the 2013 Giants during September, giving up no runs in ​7 23 innings pitched with 12 strikeouts.

2014

Hembree started the 2014 season with Triple-A Fresno, where he registered 18 saves in 41 appearances, with 3.89 ERA, 1–3 record, and 46 strikeouts in ​39 13 innings pitched.

Boston Red SoxEdit

Hembree was traded to the Boston Red Sox, along with Edwin Escobar, for Jake Peavy on July 26, 2014.[6]

2014

Hembree made his Red Sox debut on August 9, wearing uniform number 38 and pitching four innings of scoreless relief in a 19-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels; he gave up two hits, two walks, and struck out two.[7] Due to the Red Sox signing Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo on August 23, and guaranteeing Castillo the uniform number he wore in Cuba, which was 38, Hembree switched his uniform number to 37.

For the remainder of the season, Hembree split time between Boston and the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. With Pawtucket, he made seven appearances with 2.70 ERA with nine strikeouts in ​6 23 innings pitched, compiling an 0–1 record with two saves. He made a total of six MLB appearances for the 2014 Red Sox, striking out six in ten innings pitched, with a 4.50 ERA.

2015
 
Hembree at a USO show in Germany in 2015

Hembree spent parts of 2015 with both Boston and Pawtucket. In Triple-A, he made 29 appearances, compiling an 0–5 record with 8 saves and 2.27 ERA, while striking out 32 in ​31 23 innings pitched. With the 2015 Red Sox, he made 22 MLB appearances, striking out 15 in ​25 13 innings pitched, while compiling a 3.55 ERA and 2–0 record.

2016

Hembree again split time between Boston and Pawtucket during 2016. He made 13 Triple-A appearances, registering 8 saves with 0.68 ERA and 22 strikeouts in ​13 13 innings pitched. In 38 MLB appearances with the 2016 Red Sox, he compiled a 4–1 record with 2.65 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched.

2017

With the 2017 Red Sox for the entire season, Hembree made 62 appearances, striking out 70 in 62 innings pitched, with a 3.63 ERA and 2–3 record.

2018

Hembree started the season as a member of the 2018 Red Sox, in his usual role as a member of Boston's bullpen. He finished 4–1 with a 4.10 ERA in 67 appearances, striking out 76 batters in 60 innings. Hembree was initially not included on Boston's postseason roster,[8] but was added for the ALDS and beyond due to an injury to Steven Wright.[9] Hembree made four appearances in the postseason, allowing no earned runs in ​4 23 innings, as Boston won the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers.[10]

2019

Hembree was included on Boston's Opening Day roster to start the 2019 season.[11] He recorded his first MLB save on May 8, closing out an extra innings win over the Baltimore Orioles.[12][13] Hembree was added to the injured list on June 14, retroactive to June 11, with a right elbow extensor strain;[14] he returned to the team's active roster on July 4.[15] He was again placed on the injured list on August 2, with right lateral elbow inflammation,[16] and was activated on September 23.[17] For the season with Boston, Hembree appeared in 45 games, recording a 3.86 ERA with 1–0 record and two saves, while striking out 46 in ​39 23 innings.

Personal lifeEdit

Hembree and his wife Maci were married in 2017, they have two children.[18][19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mastrodonato, Jason (February 16, 2019). "Red Sox closer battle: Heath Hembree aims for late-inning role". Boston Herald. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "Heath Hembree". GamecocksOnline.com. 2008.
  3. ^ Miller, Andrew (September 2, 2013). "Former Cougar pitcher Hembree called up by Giants". The Post and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina.
  4. ^ Connolly, Matt (September 3, 2013). "San Francisco Giants call up Hembree to major league". goupstate.com.
  5. ^ "San Diego Padres 3, San Francisco Giants 2". Retrosheet. September 3, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Short, D. J. (July 26, 2014). "Giants acquire Jake Peavy from Red Sox". NBC Sports.
  7. ^ "Anaheim Angels 5, Boston Red Sox 4". Retrosheet. August 9, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Miller, Randy (October 5, 2018). "MLB playoffs 2018: Boston Red Sox set 25-man roster for ALDS vs. New York Yankees". NJ.com. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Randall, Dakota (October 6, 2018). "Red Sox Replace Injured Steven Wright With Heath Hembree On ALDS Roster". NESN. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  10. ^ "Boston Red Sox win 2018 World Series". MLB. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  11. ^ Cole, Mike (March 28, 2019). "Red Sox Opening Day Roster: Boston's 25-Player Group Officially Set". NESN. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  12. ^ @RedSoxCLNS (May 8, 2019). "Heath Hembree fans the side to collect his first career save" (Tweet). Retrieved May 8, 2019 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Red Sox vs. Orioles - Box Score". ESPN. May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  14. ^ "Red Sox Roster & Staff – Transactions". MLB.com. June 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  15. ^ "Red Sox Roster & Staff – Transactions". MLB.com. July 2019. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  16. ^ "Red Sox Roster & Staff – Transactions". MLB.com. August 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "Red Sox Roster & Staff – Transactions". MLB.com. September 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "heathhembree". Instagram. December 31, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  19. ^ "marcihembree". Instagram. Retrieved June 4, 2019.

External linksEdit