Topic: Kevin Mench

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Kevin Ford Mench (born January 7, 1978 in Wilmington, Delaware) is a professional baseball outfielder currently playing for the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

Mench attended The Independence School and St. Mark's High School in Delaware. Following high school, Mench attended the University of Delaware where he led the Blue Hens to the NCAA tournament in 1998 and 1999. In 1998, Mench led the NCAA with 33 home runs and knocked in 72 runs to earn Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year and consensus All-America Honors. On June 2, 1999, the Texas Rangers drafted Mench in the fourth round with the 118th overall pick. For his accomplishments, Mench was inducted into the University of Delaware athletics hall of fame in 2005.

In his rookie year, 2002, Mench hit 15 home runs, tied for third among rookies, and drove in 60 runs. He finished 7th in the American League Rookie of the Year balloting. After an injury-plagued 2003, Mench responded in 2004 by setting career bests in batting average (.279), home runs (26), RBI (71) and slugging percentage (.539). He followed that up by posting similar numbers in 2005, though in 25 more games.

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