Clemson Baseball 2014

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Clemson Baseball 2014

A large percentage of Clemson's production from the 2013 season comes back in 2014 and this program is set to once again get talent upgrades with the incoming freshman class.

Like every baseball season, a major part of the following season's success will be determined with this week's MLB draft. Clemson's staff has a few current players and a couple of signees that they will be watching closely in this draft.

The highest profile signee will be Austin Meadows, a top 10 talent from Loganville, GA. The outfielder is ranked as high as number two in the country among high school players and is almost a lock to be drafted early in the draft. Most expect Meadows to sign with the team that drafts him and never make it to Clemson.

Chris Okey is a catcher from Eustis, FL that inked with the Tigers in the fall. Some services have him as the nation's top ranked catcher and one of the top 30 high school prospects in the country. However, the Clemson staff thinks there is a chance Okey could come to school this summer instead of going pro.

Alex Bostic is a third prospect that is ranked in the top 100 of the country among high school players but the staff is fairly confident the Matthews, NC product will also make it to school.

Among the current Tigers that are draft eligible are Shane KennedyShane Kennedy
Jr. Infielder
#11 6-2, 190
Orlando, FL

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, Steve WilkersonSteve Wilkerson
Jr. 2nd Base
#17 6-1, 195
Roswell, GA

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, John McGibbon and Kevin PohleKevin Pohle
Jr. RH Pitcher
#21 6-3, 205
St. Louis, MO

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Kennedy had a great year hitting .317 with five homers and 35 RBIs. He also had 22 stolen bases. Teams will be attracted to Kennedy's speed and pop at the plate.

Wilkerson hit .291 with four homers and 37 RBIs. He is attractive because of his switch hitting but his defense was a major concern in 2013.

McGibbon is not projected as a high draft pick after hitting .285 with no homers and 37 RBIs and Pohle is coming off a red-shirt season after an arm injury, so some organizations may want to see his production coming off of the injury.

The rest of the team looks pretty set in terms of experience coming back. The Tigers lose Thomas BrittleThomas Brittle
RS Sr. Outfielder
#4 5-8, 180
Cross, SC

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in center field but he could be replaced by Maleek Gibson who showed signs of great potential as a true freshman.

Steven DuggarSteven Duggar
Fr. Outfielder
#9 6-1, 185
Moore, SC

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enjoyed a terrific true freshman season in right field hitting .300 with two homers, 30 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

Tyler SlatonTyler Slaton
So. Outfielder
#18 5-7, 200
Cumming, GA

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, Joe CostiganJoe Costigan
Jr. Outfielder
#5 5-11, 190
Naples, FL

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and Mike TrillerMike Triller
So. Outfielder
#35 6-2, 190
Rutland, VT

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could also round out the outfield again next season.

If Kennedy goes pro, Jay BaumJay Baum
So. Infielder
#13 6-0, 190
Alpharetta, GA

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could move back into the third base slot. If not Kevin BradleyKevin Bradley
Fr. Infielder
#37 6-1, 200
Pennington, NJ

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might get a look there.

At shortstop, Tyler KriegerTyler Krieger
Fr. Infielder
#3 6-2, 170
Johns Creek, GA

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had a solid freshman season. After a slow start, Krieger improved to .257 with 27 RBIs.

Garrett BoulwareGarrett Boulware
So. Catcher
#30 6-1, 210
Anderson, SC

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returns at catcher after hitting .308 with eight homers and 45 RBIs. Boulware could move to first or the outfield or even DH if Okey comes to school and is proven he is the better catcher.

The starting pitching should be a strength next season. Daniel GossettDaniel Gossett
So. RH Pitcher
#23 6-0, 180
Lyman, SC

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went 10-4 with a 2.56 ERA and should be the ace once again.

Matthew CrownoverMatthew Crownover
Fr. LH Pitcher
#44 5-11, 205
Ringgold, GA

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should be full strength after being limited in his pitch counts as a true freshman. Crownover went 7-3 with a 2.19 ERA.

Zack ErwinZack Erwin
Fr. LH Pitcher
#33 6-4, 180
Duluth, GA

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's role grew in 2013 with a solid campaign including a 5-2 record with a 3.45 ERA.

Clate SchmidtClate Schmidt
Fr. RH Pitcher
#32 6-1, 190
Acworth, GA

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was good early but struggled late to a 3-4 mark with a 5.34 ERA.

Pohle was a weekend starter in 2012 but red-shirted last season and will compete for a spot in the rotation next year again.

Perhaps the biggest role among newcomers next year will come from Jake LongJake Long
Jr. RH Pitcher
#39 5-10, 180
Anderson, SC

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a transfer from ETSU. The staff thinks Long will be a major factor in 2013.

Billy Koerner started a few games and showed enough promise to be a candidate to have a bigger role next season as well.

Bullpen contributors like Jackson CampanaJackson Campana
Fr. Infielder
#29 6-6, 230
Charlotte, NC

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, Matt Schnell and Patrick AndrewsPatrick Andrews
So. RH Pitcher
#43 6-3, 225
Hilton Head Island, SC

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should return to once again provide quality innings.

This team has a chance because of the returning experience but the offense must show improvement. In 2013 the Tigers were ninth in the ACC in batting average, seventh in runs scored, tenth in doubles, eighth in home runs, tenth in slugging and tenth in on base percentage.

The pieces seem to be in place for another run at an ACC title and Omaha. Player development and avoiding disasters in the draft will be keys as well. If the young pitchers can continue to develop and if Pohle and Long can provide a boost, the staff should be a strength. On offense, power production and extra base hits have to improve in order to take the next step.

For the past few years I have been down on the potential of Clemson baseball, but the hard recruiting of Bradley LeCroyBradley LeCroy
Assistant Head
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has changed that and 2014 could be a big year for this program.

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