Greene attended Clemson University. Greene played all 69 games at third base for the Clemson Tigers in his freshman season, all but one of them starts. His first collegiate home run, one of the inside-the-park variety, came at the UNLV/Coors Desert Classic on February 27. In his freshman year, Greene had 98 hits, setting the record for Clemson freshmen. He led the team in hits, multi-hit games (31), at-bats (274), and hit-by-pitches (11). His average for the season was .358. Greene was a unanimous selection to the All-Regional Team in the postseason.
In his sophomore season, Greene started every one of the team's 69 games at third base. He led the team in Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position with .444. He was an All-ACC second team selection. (The first team selection was Georgia Tech's Mark Teixeira.) He was selected to the All-ACC Tournament team.
Greene again started every game for the Clemson Tigers in his junior season, but this time he and erstwhile shortstop Jeff Baker switched positions. He set the school record in season fielding percentage at that position (.965), while also setting every hit-by-pitch record for the school (in an inning, 2; in a game, 3; in a season, 21; in a career, 47). He also led the team in doubles with 18. He was named the ACC Player of the Week during the last week of the season. Peter Gammons made a prediction in his 2001 pre-draft column on ESPN.com: "You won't find Clemson shortstop/third baseman Khalil Greene or Wake Forest center fielder Cory Sullivan on any top-100 list, but check back in five years from now and see if they aren't remarkably like Jeff Cirillo and Steve Finley. Greene and Sullivan are players." Greene was drafted with the second pick of the fourteenth round (409th overall) by the Chicago Cubs.
Greene's senior season was his most impressive. Collegiate Baseball named him National Player of the Year. The publication, along with Baseball America, selected him as a member of their All-America first teams. Baseball America also chose Greene for their National Midseason Player of the Year. He was the ACC's Player of the Year and was named to the All-ACC first team. Greene was named winner of the Dick Howser Trophy, the Rotary Smith Award, and the Golden Spikes Award at the end of the season. He hit an amazing .480 average with 26 home runs and 30 doubles with a .557 on-base percentage and .888 slugging percentage (for an OPS of 1.445). He broke his own fielding record with a .967 mark. In only one of the team's 67 games did he not reach base via walk or hit. His last at-bat in Clemson's Doug Kingsmore Stadium was, fittingly, a home run.
After Greene finished the 2002 season, having graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology, he held school single-season records for total bases, extra-base hits, home runs, RBI, consecutive multi-hit games, and consecutive games with a home run. He holds career school records in total bases and RBI. He holds the ACC single season record for batting average and the ACC career records for doubles and hits. Greene also holds the NCAA record for doubles in a career. On June 22, 2002, Greene received a special resolution from the South Carolina General Assembly. He'd started 269 consecutive games. Greene was taken by the Padres with the thirteenth pick of the 2002 draft.
After finishing his college career and being drafted by the Padres, Khalil Greene reported to Single-A Eugene Emeralds where he played only ten games. He batted .270 with no home runs and six RBI. He was then called up to the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League where he finished the season. In 46 games he hit nine home runs with 32 RBI while batting .317.
In 2003, Greene started the season with the Double-A Mobile BayBears. In 59 games he had a batting average of .275. He was then called up to the Triple-A Portland Beavers. In 76 games, Greene batted .288 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI. He then saw his first major league action on September 3, 2003, where he came into the game as a pinch-hitter for Brian Lawrence in the seventh inning and flied out against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He got his first start two days later against the Houston Astros, but went 0-for-4. His first hit came the next day; it was a single sharply hit up the middle against Ron Villone. His first home run led off the eighth inning of the September 16th game against Jerome Williams of the San Francisco Giants. He finished the year with an average of .215 with two home runs and six RBI in twenty games.
His first full season was in 2004. He played 139 games for the Padres, going 132-for-484 (.273) with 15 home runs and 65 RBI. He was seventh in the league in sacrifice flies with seven. His salary for the season was $300,500. Greene placed second in the MLB Rookie of the Year Award voting in the National League (to his former minor league roommate Jason Bay), despite having missed fifteen of the last seventeen games of the season with a broken finger.
In 2005 Greene played in 121 games going 109 for 436 (.250) with 15 home runs and 70 RBIs. He helped the Padres win their fourth division title, their first since 1998.
In 2006 Greene appeared in 121 games, and had 101 hits in 412 at-bats (.245) with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs, helping the Padres win their second consecutive Western Division title.
In 2007 Greene hit 155 for 611 for a (.254) average over 153 games. He also set a Padres record for home runs by a shortstop with 27, and accrued 97 RBIs.
On February 4, 2008, the Padres signed Greene to a two year, $11 million extension.
In 2008 Greene got off to a terrible start offensively, not hitting a home run until May 2. As of the end of July he is hitting only .213 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. On July 30, 2008 Greene broke his hand while hitting a storage box after striking out for the 100th time in 2008 and his batting average dropped to .213. On July 31 it was announced Greene would likely miss the rest of the season.
Greene writes hip-hop lyrics in his spare time and adds them to instrumental music. He is an adherent of the Bahá'í Faith, and says his faith has helped his athletic performance mentally. The name Khalil is Arabic for friend.
- ↑ "Fickle fingers (and toes) of fate keep poking Padres' Greene", sportsline.com. Accessed 2007-07-09.
- ↑ Dolbee, Sandi,"Passion for game, faith drives Padres' Greene", The San Diego Union-Tribune, 2004-09-20 Accessed 2007-08-10.
- ↑ Top sportsmen find support in faith, 11 August 2004 (BWNS)
- ↑ "Whats the deal, Khalil", signonsandiego.com. Accessed 2007-08-21.
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