For many young athletes, a chance to play in a Major Leagues is the dream. But for one Raptors pitcher, it’s a dream set on two continents.
Dean Kremer, a lanky, right-handed pitcher from Stockton, California, has dual citizenship with Israel because his parents are both Israeli citizens.
Kremer started playing ball for San Joaquin Delta College and worked his way up to playing for the University of Las Vegas. He also plays for the Israel National Team.
“I’ve been doing it for the past three years, every summer — It’s pretty fun,” Kremer said. “It’s an honor to be on the team. I go back there every summer to visit family.”
Last year, Kremer was picked up by the San Diego Padres in the 38th round of the draft, but he turned it down, saying he wanted to stay in Las Vegas and gain a little more experience before taking professional baseball by the horns.
“I transferred to Las Vegas, and I played there for a year and got my feet wet,” Kremer said. “I wanted to face better hitters, I wanted to get bigger and stronger and I wanted mainly to mature as a person, live outside the house because I didn’t feel like I was ready.”
After pitching for another year at UNLV, Kremer’s practice paid off.
In early June, Kremer was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 14th round, a huge jump from his previous placement in the 38th round.
He has agreed to play for the Dodgers, feeling more comfortable this year than he had before.
“Last year, I didn’t want to go, not because of the team or anything, I just didn’t feel like I was ready quite yet,” Kremer said. “I just wanted to make sure that I was completely ready for pro ball. This year, I felt like I was a lot more ready, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Working his way up through the minor leagues, Kremer has been honing his skills with the Ogden Raptors before he moves up to play for the Dodgers.
“I have been playing for the Raptors— two starts— and pitching limited innings because I threw a lot in college,” Kremer said about his time here in Ogden.
This year, Kremer feels more confident heading into the Major Leagues.
“I definitely feel a lot more prepared … I’m not nervous anymore,” Kremer said. “Wherever I go, I just feel like I’m going to compete the best that I can.”
Kremer also plans on continuing to play for the Israel National Team.
“What I’ve understood is that if you have an international commitment to a team, most organizations will let you go play,” Kremer said. “We have the WBC qualifier in late September, and I plan on playing in that team for Israel.”
Keep your eyes peeled for Dean Kremer as he launches an exciting baseball career through continuing with Team Israel and joining ranks with the Los Angeles Dodgers.