Former Tiger Clark called up to MLB

Bill Franques
Former Tiger Matt Clark. Photo by

Former LSU first baseman Matt Clark was called up to the Major Leagues by the Milwaukee Brewers last week.

Clark played the early portion of the 2014 season for the New York Mets' Double-A affiliate, but he was released on June 25 due to a lack of 40-man roster space. Clark jumped a class to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds upon signing with the Brewers, and he has belted 16 homers with 37 RBIs while elevating his average to .316 in 53 games during that span.

Clark, a native of Fontana, Calif., helped lead LSU to the 2008 College World Series as he led the nation in home runs that season with 28. A transfer from Riverside (Calif.) Community College, Clark started 64 games in 2008 (57 at first base, six at DH, one at third base), batting .344 (78-for-227) with 17 doubles, 28 homers, 64 RBIs and 57 runs. He finished No. 2 in the SEC in slugging percentage (.789), No. 3 in total bases (179), No. 8 in RBIs (64), No. 9 in on-base percentage (.447) and No. 10 in walks (40).

Clark hit .448 (13-for-29) in LSU’s 2008 NCAA Tournament games with four doubles, six homers, 12 RBIs and 10 runs. He also earned SEC All-Tournament recognition, and he was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Clark signed after the ’08 season with the San Diego Padres, who had selected him in the 12th round of the MLB Draft.

Clark becomes the seventh former LSU player coached by Paul Mainieri to reach the big leagues. The others are pitcher Louis Coleman, pitcher Charlie Furbush, pitcher Ryan Verdugo, infielder DJ LeMahieu, pitcher Kevin Gausman and pitcher Anthony Ranaudo.

LSU has had at least one former player make his MLB debut in 22 of the past 24 seasons. LSU has produced a total of 65 Major Leaguers during its illustrious baseball history.