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Tigers in the MLB

Photo courtesy of wikimedia

While a month and a half of college baseball is now in the books, the first pitch of the 2016 Major League Baseball season wasn’t thrown until Sunday. This year’s opening rosters for the thirty MLB teams include three Clemson alumni, with many more in the minor leagues waiting to get called up. Let’s take a look at the three former Tigers and what they bring to their respective teams.


Tony Sipp 

Relief Pitcher, 

Houston Astros

Season at Clemson: 2004 (JUCO transfer)


Sipp is now entering his eighth season in the big leagues and third in Houston, where he’s proven himself to be a reliable veteran arm. Last year, the lefty came out of the bullpen sixty times, pitching 54.1 innings with an ERA of 1.99 while holding opponents’ bats to a .208 clip. His impressive efforts last year helped transform the Astros from league laughingstock into a bona fide postseason contender and earned him a three year contract in the offseason. This year, the Houston bullpen figures to be loaded with more talent than last year, meaning Sipp could see reduced time, but his solid strikeout numbers and strength against right-handed bats (unusual for most southpaw pitchers) will ensure that he won’t

be underused.


Ben Paulsen 

First Baseman/Outfielder, 

Colorado Rockies

Seasons at Clemson: 



Ben Paulsen is now entering his first full season in the majors, as he split time between the majors and minors from 2014-2015. While he’s shown some pop early in his career, having knocked in 15 homers to go with 59 runs batted in to date, Rockies manager Walt Weiss isn’t ready to name him an everyday player, mainly due to a high strikeout rate and unproven status against left-handed pitchers. He’ll begin the season splitting time at first base with the veteran Mark Reynolds- — another player notorious for high power and high strikeout rates — but a hot start to the season could earn him more opportunities. With a very talented Colorado lineup around him and the advantage of playing one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the majors, Paulsen has a lot to prove and has a chance to break out

in 2016.


Brad miller


Tampa Bay Rays

Seasons at Clemson: 2008-2011

 After spending the first two and a half seasons of his career with the Seattle Mariners, Brad Miller–the 2011 ACC Player of the Year–is seeking a new start with Tampa Bay. Much like his former teammate Ben Paulsen, Miller is a young player who has much more to develop. During his time with the Mariners, he was mainly used as a “super-utility” player, spending the bulk of his time at shortstop but also getting time at second base, third base, and each outfield position. The Rays figure to use him more often at short after the offseason departure of Asdrubal Cabrera. He has both power (29 homers in 2.5 seasons) and speed (stole 13 bases in 2015), and with discipline, he could see himself move up in the Rays’ lineup, but a high strikeout rate and mediocre batting average could prevent that. Nevertheless, Miller will get plenty of chances to break out in South Florida.

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