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Kris Benson
Arizona Diamondbacks — No. --
Starting pitcher
Born: November 7, 1974 (1974-11-07) (age 35)
Superior, Wisconsin
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 9, 1999 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     69-74
Earned run average     4.41
Strikeouts     798

Kris James Benson (born November 7, 1974, in Superior, Wisconsin) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher who currently plays in the minor league system for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Benson pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1999 to 2004, New York Mets from 2004 to 2005, Baltimore Orioles in 2006, and Texas Rangers in 2009


High school

Benson attended Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia

College career

Benson attended Clemson University from 1993 to 1996. His teammates included fellow future major-leaguers Billy Koch and Matthew LeCroy both of whom played with him in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, USA where they won the bronze medal.

He won Dick Howser Trophy for the National Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year, and the Rotary Smith Award in 1996 and still holds many school pitching records.[citation needed] He also was honored as the ACC Male Athlete of the Year in 1996.

Olympic medal record
Men's Baseball
Bronze Atlanta 1996 Team Competition

Professional career

Benson was the first pick of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft. His best season came in 2000 with Pittsburgh when he posted career-highs in earned run average, strikeouts, innings pitched, and games pitched as well as his only double-digit strikeout games and his career-best three-hit complete game despite the fact that he is a groundball pitcher. After 2000, he needed Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2001 season. The New York Mets acquired him near the trading deadline of the 2004 season. On January 21, 2006, Benson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Jorge Julio and John Maine.

Benson missed the entire 2007 season with a torn rotator cuff. [1] Steve Trachsel replaced Benson in their starting rotation before being traded to the Chicago Cubs for minor league players. On November 1, 2007, the Orioles declined to pick up his $7.5 million option by paying a $500,000 buyout.

On February 13, 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies signed Benson to a minor league deal.[2] On June 29, 2008, after two years away from competitive baseball, Benson made his Triple-A debut for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, throwing 73 pitches.[3] He played 11 games for the IronPigs, but was 1-4 with a 5.52 ERA. However, after two rough initial outings, he went 1-2 with a very respectable 3.80 ERA over his remaining 9 starts. He asked for and was granted his released on August 30, when he was told that he would not be called up to the Major League team in September.

On February 21, 2009, Benson signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Texas Rangers.[4] Benson made the Opening Day 25 man roster as one of the Rangers' starting pitchers, but after a short stint on the disabled list, he was relegated to the bullpen in long relief. Benson had made over 200 consecutive starts before the move to the bullpen. After proving ineffective as a sporadic reliever upon his return, he was outrighted to the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, on June 9, 2009.[5]

On March 15, 2010, Benson signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. [6]

Personal life

Benson is married to Anna Benson, a model whose "outlandish antics," wrote Sports Illustrated, have become better known than her husband's "few good seasons" in the majors.[3][7] The Bensons have three children, and have founded the non-profit organization Benson's Battalion.


External links

Preceded by
Darin Erstad
First overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft
Succeeded by
Matt Anderson

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