Clemson Baseball 2014
|Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 5:06 AM- -|
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
#11 6-2, 190
View Full Profile , Steve WilkersonSteve Wilkerson
Jr. 2nd Base
#17 6-1, 195
View Full Profile , John McGibbon and Kevin PohleKevin Pohle
Jr. RH Pitcher
#21 6-3, 205
St. Louis, MO
View Full Profile .
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
View Full Profile in center field but he could be replaced by Maleek Gibson who showed signs of great potential as a true freshman.
Tyler SlatonTyler Slaton
#18 5-7, 200
View Full Profile , Joe CostiganJoe Costigan
#5 5-11, 190
View Full Profile and Mike TrillerMike Triller
#35 6-2, 190
View Full Profile could also round out the outfield again next season.
If Kennedy goes pro,
Jay BaumJay Baum
#13 6-0, 190
View Full Profile could move back into the third base slot. If not Kevin BradleyKevin Bradley
#37 6-1, 200
View Full Profile might get a look there.
Garrett BoulwareGarrett Boulware
#30 6-1, 210
View Full Profile 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.
Matthew CrownoverMatthew Crownover
Fr. LH Pitcher
#44 5-11, 205
View Full Profile should be full strength after being limited in his pitch counts as a true freshman. Crownover went 7-3 with a 2.19 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
View Full Profile 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
#29 6-6, 230
View Full Profile , Matt Schnell and Patrick AndrewsPatrick Andrews
So. RH Pitcher
#43 6-3, 225
Hilton Head Island, SC
View Full Profile 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
View Full Profile has changed that and 2014 could be a big year for this program.
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