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Tigers in the MLB

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Tony Sipp signed a three- year contract with the Astros this offseason.

Last spring, we took a look at a few different Tiger alumni who are playing at various levels in professional baseball. In particular, we highlighted the trio of Tony Sipp, Ben Paulsen and Brad Miller, who began the season on major league rosters. 

Since then, other former Tigers have been climbing the ranks, with a few making it all the way up to the majors. 

With most of this year’s MLB season complete, let’s take another look at the players representing Clemson in

the pros.

 Ben Paulsen: First Baseman/Outfielder, Colorado Rockies

Seasons at Clemson: 2007-2009

Paulsen began the year as part of a platoon at first base with veteran Mark Reynolds. But in a lineup already loaded with left-handed power, the Rockies opted to go with Reynolds full time and sent Paulsen back to AAA Albuquerque. 

The statistics certainly didn’t help his cause, as he has recorded more strikeouts (21) than hits (18) in the majors and has a weak on base percentage of .268. 

However, with the recent hand injury to Reynolds, Paulsen was called back up to the Majors this week and looks to be the everyday first baseman for Colorado in the near future.

 Tony Sipp: Relief Pitcher, Houston Astros

Season at Clemson: 2004 (JUCO transfer)

After signing a three-year deal with Houston this offseason, Tony Sipp has found himself unable to replicate his 2015 success. 

At the same time, he has seen his role shrink from set-up man to lefty

matchup guy. He’s shown flashes of success, but his earned run average (ERA) currently sits at 4.83 and has been used in fewer and fewer higher leverage situations. 

Even though Sipp has posted poor numbers the Astros lack

alternatives, and Sipp remains the only southpaw in Houston’s bullpen.

 Dominic Leone: Relief Pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks

Seasons at Clemson: 2010-2012

The newcomer to the group of Clemson players on 25 man rosters, the young righty Dominic Leone has been trying to make a comeback after an absolutely brutal 2015. 

So far, there hasn’t been much success for Leone, with nearly every statistic showing his massive struggle, from his 7.27 ERA to his 2.135 WHIP. Nevertheless, the D-backs have been giving Leone chances in the midst of an abominable year, and there is hope yet for the 24-year-old hurler, but time is running short for Leone, as is the patience of Arizona fans.

 Brad Miller: Shortstop, Tampa Bay Rays

Seasons at Clemson: 2008-2011

With the struggles of the three players above, it’s a relief to see that Brad Miller appears to be breaking through in South Florida. 

While his bad strikeout habit has not receded, Miller has upped his average to .260 and recorded 57 runs batted in (RBI). 

Most impressive, however, is his incredible power surge: after hitting only 29 homers in his first 3 seasons in the MLB, Miller has clocked 24 over the wall this year and is on track for more. 

This recent power surge has given him a slugging percentage of .520, good for 25th best in the majors. While Miller still has some crucial areas of his game to improve — defense, making better contact and improving on-base percentage — his  power has proven enough for him to fit the bill of an everyday player for the Rays.

In addition to the players currently on MLB rosters, first baseman Richie Shaffer and Utility Player Mike Freeman each had brief stints in the majors before returning to triple A; Freeman’s brief stint was his major league debut. 

In addition to the players currently on MLB rosters, first baseman Richie Shaffer and Utility Player Mike Freeman each had brief stints in the majors before returning to triple A; Freeman’s brief stint was his major league debut. Clemson also had five players join the minors after being selected the 2016 MLB Draft this June. A sixth player — Pat Krall–was also selected, but opted to return for one more year in Tigertown. The picks are listed below in order.

Chris Okey (Catcher)

Drafted 2nd Round, 43rd overall by Cincinnati


Alex Bostic (Left-handed Pitcher)

Drafted 10th Round, 305th overall by San Francisco


Eli White (Shortstop)

Drafted 11th Round, 322nd overall by Oakland


Weston Wilson (Second/Third Baseman)

Drafted 17th Round, 501st overall by Milwaukee


Clate Schmidt (Right-handed Pitcher) 

Drafted 20th Round, 595th overall by Detroit

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