A look back at: Keoni De Renne

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in an off-season series examining the 2008 performance of York Revolution players.

In the Atlantic League, records fall as frequently as that young college co-ed who had one too many Mimosas.

The franchise best for hits? For runs? For attendance? These marks fall almost on a weekly basis when it comes to the York Revolution and its brief two-year history.

Yet, here’s one dubious record that we may never see anyone duplicate or exceed — Keoni De Renne’s 36 errors in 2008.

To be fair, the entire York team was awful defensively in ’08. The Revs committed 156 errors for the year, only one behind Lancaster for the league high, and added six more in two crushing playoff defeats. And most will agree that De Renne, a standout shortstop in college at Arizona, is ill-suited for the position in the pros. He’s a decent second baseman — there’s not much debate here.

But that shouldn’t excuse the mistakes De Renne made again and again. Often he would make the spectacular play — like when he dove in the third-base hole and pitched a one-hopper to George Sandel at second to give the Revs the Community Cup. But more often he would botch the routine — De Renne committed a crucial error on a routine ball in that same game against Lancaster that gave the Barnstormers a four-run advantage in the eighth that the Revs would soon erase.

Over the course of the season, it was tough to rip De Renne constantly for his defense. York rarely had a suitable replacement at shortstop — although Kenny Perez would have been better there when he returned to the club. And at some point the blame should have fallen on manager Chris Hoiles. How could he continue to run out a shortstop who was making errors seemingly every night and helped put York last in the league in double plays turned (115)?

It’s a question that we can only speculate about now. But it is still an intriguing one that probably didn’t receive enough attention during the year.

On the offensive side, De Renne hit .246 for the year in a team-high 492 at-bats. He walked 61 times against 39 strikeouts. He had eight homers, 56 RBIs and was 10-for-15 in stolen bases (the steals were only bested in his career by the 19 he had in 82 games for York in ’07).

But anyone who watched this team throughout the year had the same thought: Where was the Keoni De Renne of ’07? The human spark plug? The guy who hit .302, had 100 hits in 82 games and ignited a second-half surge that had York in the playoff mix?

Maybe that man stayed in Japan — where an off-season workout with the Chiba Lotte Marines didn’t turn into a contract. Maybe that man just didn’t have another year of all-out baseball in him. Maybe that man saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

But as De Renne — who said he finished the year leaning toward retirement — would admit, he certainly would have liked to end his career on a better note.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way it turned out for the Hawaiian-born man York fell in love with during the summer of last year.

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3 Responses

  1. Well, whatever Mr. De Renne decides, i’m sure most Revolution fans wish him well.

  2. The guy is a competitor. It takes guts to go out game after game knowing you are out of position. If his body is still holding up he should come back for another year. Im betting that most of the errors made were more psychological than anything else.

  3. Wow.. I knew him pretty well back in 2002 when he played for the Greenville Braves. Pretty sure that was his best season anywhere. Really nice guy

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