Ian Kennedy, Jeff Clement Named To MLB Top 25 Rookies List
March 18, 2008
LOS ANGELES -- Former Trojans Ian Kennedy and Jeff Clement were named by Baseball America to its 2008 Major League Baseball Top 25 Rookies list. Kennedy, a right-handed pitcher for the New York Yankees, was picked at No. 12 while Clement, a catcher for the Seattle Mariners, was slotted at No. 22.
Kennedy went 24-12 in his three-year career with the Trojans, compiling a 3.09 ERA (311 1/3 IP, 271 H, 107 ER, 105 BB) and 380 strikeouts. He finished third all-time at USC in career strikeouts behind Rik Currier (449) and Seth Etherton (420). He also finished second all-time in strikeouts per nine innings (10.99) behind current San Diego Padres pitcher Mark Prior (11.52).
In his 2005 sophomore season, Kennedy earned All-America honors after going 12-3 with a 2.54 ERA (117 IP, 85 H, 33 ER, 38 BB, 158 SO). He was named Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year and led the nation in strikeouts.
As a 2006 junior, he earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention recognition after going 5-7 with a 3.90 ERA and 102 strikeouts. He earned All-Pac-10 honors in his 2004 freshman season after posting a 7-2 mark with a 2.91 ERA and 120 strikeouts and has been the Trojans' No. 1 starter during his entire career. He was drafted in the first round by the Yankees (22nd overall) in the 2006 draft, making a meteoric rise and eventually making three starts last season.
As a 2005 junior, Clement finished his career at USC with the second-most home runs (46) in school history behind Mark McGwire (54). He won the 2005 Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top collegiate catcher after batting .348 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI. Behind the plate, Clement threw out 25 of 68 baserunners (37%), including one pickoff at second base.
He was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and led the Trojans to the NCAA Super Regional, the school's fifth appearance in the past seven years. Clement was a 2005 consensus first team All-American. He was the third overall pick in the 2005 draft for the Mariners and made it to the big club last season where he hit a walk-off game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth for Seattle's season-ending game.
Both players were two-time members of the U.S. National Team.