Kris Benson was the first overall pick in the baseball amateur draft in 1996 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Benson made his way through the Pirates minor league system and became a dominating pitcher for the team.

At the time he was one of the most sought after pitchers in all of baseball. In 2004 the Pirates traded Benson to the New York Mets. He pitched in 11 games for the Mets that season going 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA. That performance earned him a free agent contract with New York.

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