April 23, 2009
Clemson, SC – Five former Clemson baseball players are on Major League rosters this year. The list includes Clemson’s two National Player of the Year selections in history, Kris Benson and Khalil Greene, former All-American Jeff Baker and rookie pitchers Steven Jackson and Tony Sipp.
Greene is the starting shortstop with the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent six seasons with the San Diego Padres, before signing a free agent contract with the Cardinals prior to this season. He has 86 career home runs, including two this year, tied for the most home runs by a former Clemson player in the Major Leagues with Tim Teufel.
Greene was the national player of the year during his senior year at Clemson (2002) and is still first in Clemson history in career RBIs (276), third in batting average given a minimum of 400 at bats (.377) and fifth in home runs with 52.
Benson is in his first year with the Texas Rangers after playing previously with the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles. He is a veteran of seven seasons, but did not play the last two years due to arm problems. He gained victory for Texas against Baltimore on April 15, his first win since he pitched for Baltimore in September of 2006. Benson won the National Player of the Year award in 1996 when he led Clemson to the College World Series. He finished his Clemson career with a 29-8 record and 356 strikeouts to rank in the top five in Clemson history in both areas.
Baker is in his fifth season with the Colorado Rockies. Clemson’s career home run leader (tied, 59), has 22 career home runs in the major leagues to go with a .262 batting average. He played for the Rockies in the 2007 World Series.
Jackson, who played for Clemson from 2001-04 and had a 19-8 record for the Tigers, was called up to the New York Yankees on Sunday, April 19. He has not yet appeared in a game.
Sipp was called up to the Cleveland Indians on April 21 and made his major league debut against Kansas City on April 22. He pitched one inning and had a strikeout as he got the Royals out three-up and three-down. Sipp batted .280 and had a 2-2 pitching record for the Tigers in 2004.
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