Clemson, SC -
Tiger infielders Mike Freeman and Matt Sanders along with righthander Clinton McKinney and outfielder Addison Johnson were all picked on day-three of the 2009 Major League Draft on Thursday. The quartet rounded out Clemson's nine draft picks in 2009, as infielder Ben Paulsen along with pitchers Chris Dwyer, Ryan Hinson, Graham Stoneburner, and Trey Delk were drafted during the first two days of the draft.
Freeman was selected in the 36th round (#1086 overall pick) by the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2009, the junior infielder batted .328 with 60 runs, 88 hits, 16 doubles, five triples, four homers, 44 RBIs, a .414 on-base percentage thanks to 42 walks, and 11 stolen bases in starting all 66 games at second base. He led or tied for the team-lead in games, starts, at-bats (268), runs, and triples. He also had an outstanding .979 fielding percentage, as he committed just seven errors in 326 chances in the field. The Orlando, FL native is a career .330 hitter with 106 runs, 24 doubles, five triples, five homers, 63 RBIs, a .409 on-base percentage, 14 steals, and a .970 fielding percentage in two year at Clemson after spending his freshman season in the Georgia program. Freeman was also drafted in the 41st round by the San Diego Padres in 2006.
Sanders was drafted in the 41st round (#1231 overall pick) by the Colorado Rockies. The senior infielder hit .295 with five doubles, three homers, and 20 RBIs in 49 games (31 starts) in 2009. In his two seasons at Clemson, the New Bern, NC native batted .296 with 14 doubles, five homers, and 38 RBIs in 95 games (64 starts).
McKinney was chosen in the 48th round (#1441 overall pick) by the Colorado Rockies, becoming Clemson's third pick by that organization in 2009. The senior righthander had a 4-0 record and 4.30 ERA in 23.0 innings pitched over 13 relief appearances in 2009. The Greenville, SC native allowed 23 hits (.280 opponents' batting average), eight walks, and one home run with 22 strikeouts. He also had a team-high six pickoffs, as no other Tiger had more than one pickoff in 2009. In his two-year career as a Tiger, he was 4-0 with a 6.30 ERA and 10 pickoffs in 36.0 innings pitched over 28 relief appearances after spending his first two seasons at UNC Greensboro.
Johnson was selected in the 48th round (#1443 overall pick) by the Oakland Athletics. The sophomore outfielder, who was injured and red-shirted in 2008, hit .217 with 25 runs, six doubles, two homers, 14 RBIs, and nine stolen bases in 50 games (36 starts) in 2009. In his two active seasons at Clemson, the Pfafftown, NC native is hitting .259 with 14 doubles, five triples, three homers, 37 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases in 111 games (94 starts).
Clemson's nine draft picks tied for fourth-most in the nation in 2009. Georgia and Mississippi tied for most draft picks with 11 apiece, while Florida was third with 10. UC Santa Barbara, Clemson, Miami (FL), and Oklahoma all had nine, while Oklahoma State and UCLA both had eight.
With the nine draft selections in 2009, Jack Leggett has had a total of 79 players drafted in his 16 seasons as head coach at Clemson. Fourteen of those 79 players were drafted twice, meaning a Tiger has been drafted 93 times in his tenure. Thirteen more Tigers have signed free-agent contracts as well.
2009 Tiger Draftees
# Player, Pos. Cl. Rd Pick Team
10 Ben Paulsen, 1B Jr. 3 90 Rockies
28 Chris Dwyer, LHP Fr. 4 122 Royals
45 Ryan Hinson, LHP Sr. 10 294 Padres
15 Graham Stoneburner, RHP *So. 14 435 Yankees
32 Trey Delk, RHP *Sr. 29 883 White Sox
5 Mike Freeman, INF Jr. 36 1086 Diamondbacks
21 Matt Sanders, INF Sr. 41 1231 Rockies
8 Clinton McKinney, RHP Sr. 48 1441 Rockies
18 Addison Johnson, OF *So. 48 1443 Athletics
* - spent one season as a red-shirt player