Tigers in the Majors in 2006

Clemson had three former players in the Major Leagues when the 2006 season began in early April.

All three were All-Americans at Clemson, including two who were the consensus college player-of-the-year their final seasons. Two have also switched teams since the end of last year.

* Khalil Greene is in his third season as the regular shortstop of the San Diego Padres. Greene batted .250 in 121 games last season with a career-high 15 home runs and a career-high 70 RBIs. The home run total was a franchise record for a shortstop. Greene got the 2006 season off to a great start with a home run on opening day.

Greene led Clemson to the College World Series in 2002 and a school-record-best third-place finish when he was the consensus national player-of-the-year. He was a unanimous All-American and ACC Player-of-the-Year, as he led the nation in hits, runs scored, total bases, and doubles. He batted an incredible .470 for the season with 27 home runs and 91 RBIs.

* Kris Benson opened the 2006 season in the starting rotation with the Baltimore Orioles. It is his third Major League club since he broke into the Majors in 1999 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The #1 draft choice of the entire college draft by Pittsburgh in 1996, Benson had a 10-8 record with the New York Mets last year when he had a 4.13 ERA. He also had a career-high 12 victories in 2004.

Benson was the national player-of-the-year in 1996, the first Tiger baseball player in history to win a national player-of-the-year award, and the second Clemson athlete in any sport to win national player-of-the-year honors. Benson had a 14-2 record as a junior in 1996, and had a 2.02 ERA and an incredible 204/27 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

* Matthew LeCroy is the third former Tiger in the Major Leagues this year. The native of nearby Belton, SC is in his seventh year in the Major Leagues, including his first year with the Washington Nationals. He spent his first six years with the Minnesota Twins and hit 58 home runs, including a season-high 17 home runs in 2003 and 2005. His 58 career home runs are third in the Major Leagues among all former Tigers.

LeCroy teamed with Benson to help the Tigers to a fourth-place finish in the College World Series in 1996. He was Clemson's first ever rookie-of-the-year in baseball in 1995 when he hit 15 home runs to set a Tiger record for a freshman. LeCroy hit 53 home runs in his career, third on Clemson's career list. His 208 RBIs are currently seventh on the Tiger career list as well.

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