2000 Clemson Baseball Outlook

by -
  Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed

CLEMSON, S.C. - When a team comes so close to reaching its
goals and falls just short, the following year's team usually
comes back with a tenacious desire to achieve those unachieved goals. The
2000 Clemson baseball team is no different.

Clemson came within three outs of reaching its goal in '99, a trip
to the College World Series. Seventeen of the 25 players that experienced
that bitter end return in 2000. Despite the disappointing final inning of
'99, Clemson won at least 40 games for the 14th straight season and played
in the NCAA Tournament for the 13th year in a row.

This year's team, which is ranked 11th in Collegiate Baseball's
preseason poll, returns its nucleus of position players, but will have to
count on some new faces on the mound. Six starters in the field, including
All-America outfielder Patrick Boyd, and some new faces, like freshman
shortstop Jeff Baker, spotlight the position players. Baker and the other
newcomers have been so impressive that Baseball America tabbed (Recruiting
Coordinator) Tim Corbin's class #1 in the nation. With the 2000 recruiting
class, Clemson, whose 486 wins in the 1990s was fourth-best in the country,
looks to continue its winning ways into the new decade.

"I'm really excited about this team," states Head Coach Jack
Leggett, who has averaged 48 wins in six seasons at Clemson. "We have a
lot of depth at every position. We brought in some talented players in the
offseason. We've got a chance to be a solid offensive and defensive team,
and if we can just put our pitching together, we should have a successful

The season almost did not start for #7, as Leggett broke his neck
in a skiing accident while on vacation in Colorado in December. He will
have to wear a neck brace for the first few weeks of the season. However,
Leggett did not miss the preseason practices and expects to make a full
recovery by mid-season. Despite the setback, Leggett still has his mind
focused ahead towards the type of baseball Clemson fans have come to expect
in his six years as the Tigers' skipper.

"Expect a very aggressive offensive team," says Leggett. "We have
a good combination of speed and players who can hit for power. We also
have some intra-team competition and leadership. The team has a feeling
deep down inside that it wants to go to Omaha and play for the National

The Tigers lost valuable performers and leaders in second baseman
Kurt Bultmann, first baseman Jason Harris, and catcher Derek Borgert, but
several veterans return who have been through the battles of ACC and NCAA
Tournament competition. "We have a lot of experienced players and a lot of
newcomers, so we will look to players like Boyd, Mike Calitri, Brian Ellis,
Brian Holstad, Ryan Mottl, Justin Singleton, and Henr’ Stanley to step up
and be leaders for us. The players voted all seven of these players to be
captains this season."


Ellis (Sr. - Columbia, SC) is the only returning catcher who has
played an inning for the Tigers, but several young newcomers have caught
the attention of Leggett. "Brian has been a starter for the last two
years. As a sophomore he had an excellent walk-to-strikeout ratio in the
leadoff spot, but was less consistent in '99. We have confidence that he
will get back to that level. Steve Pyzik (Fr. - Mount Airy, MD) is a young
catcher who will be an outstanding player in time. Jon Smith (So. -
Kinston, NC) will get better behind the plate as well after red-shirting in
his first season at Clemson a year ago. We also will look at freshman
Jarrod Schmidt at catcher. He has outstanding power and a good arm."

Walk-on Johnny Pack (Fr. - Landrum, SC) will give Clemson much
needed help in the bullpen.


Clemson must replace Bultmann (2B) and Harris (1B), who were
mainstays for four and two years, respectively, in the Tiger infield. "We
will have competition at first base this season," states Leggett. "Calitri
(Jr. - Canton, MA), Michael Johnson (Fr. - Georgetown, SC), and Schmidt
(Fr. - Marietta, GA) all have a chance to step up and start at the
position. All of these players have shown power and some good defensive

Calitri can play either of the corner infield positions. He came
through with some clutch pinch-hits in '99 and is a career .311 hitter in
45 at bats. Johnson red-shirted a season ago, but has tremendous power
from the left side and will compete for the starting first-base and
designated hitter spots.

Schmidt, a heralded recruit, can play first base, outfield,
catcher, and will be given a chance to pitch in late innings. Baseball
America listed Schmidt as the #22 high school prospect in the nation and as
one of the best raw power hitters coming out of high school. Schmidt,
another in the long line of Tigers who hails from Marietta, GA, was also
the MVP of the Connie Mack League World Series this past summer and was
drafted in the 23rd round by the Florida Marlins.

Baker (Fr. - Woodbridge, VA), a fourth-round pick by the Cleveland
Indians in the '99 draft, is another young player who will be counted on in
2000. While playing for the USA Junior National Team this past summer, he
hit .481 and had the game-winning hit in the World Series Championship game.

Baker will compete with Bradley LeCroy (Sr. - Walhalla, SC) and
Russell Triplett (Fr. - West Columbia, SC) for the middle infield spots.
LeCroy, who hit .286 with 44 RBIs and 13 stolen bases as a junior, was the
starting shortstop in '99, but might move to second base with the emergence
of Baker. Ryan Riley (Jr. - Seattle, WA) is a mid-season transfer from
Edmonds Community College. Riley will compete for the starting second base

Holstad (Sr. - Cameron, SC) and Singleton (Jr. - Sparks, MD), both
veterans of the Tiger program, will be given a look in the infield, which
is where both players began their Tiger careers. Holstad, a reliable
fifth-year senior who has 29 career stolen bases and 129 career starts,
played second base as a freshman, and has played third base and the
outfield since. Singleton can play either position in the left side of the
infield. He came alive late in '99, including a memorable towering home
run (estimated at 475 feet) in the ninth inning to tie N.C. State in the
ACC Tournament in a game Clemson went on to win.

Khalil Greene (So. - Key West, FL) looks to continue his torrid
postseason hitting of '99 as the starting third baseman. Greene, a
third-team Freshman All-American in '99, broke the Clemson freshman record
for hits (98) and batted .519 in the NCAA Tournament. Johnson and Calitri
will provide depth behind Greene at the hot corner.


Boyd (Jr. - Palm Harbor, FL), who hit .390 with 17 homers, 70 RBIs,
and 20 stolen bases in '99, heads up a talented group of outfielders. The
preseason first-team All-American is the team's top returner in batting
average, home runs, doubles, RBIs, and on-base percentage. Boyd managed
the .390 batting average despite being hampered by a shoulder injury during
most of '99. Baseball America has named Boyd the #2 college prospect for
the 2000 Major League Draft. He possesses all the tools necessary to
become one of the greatest Tigers in history with a tremendous junior
season. His fielding ability often goes unnoticed, but he has tracked down
many-a-fly-ball that looked certain to drop. Boyd can be written in the
lineup in centerfield in ink for the 2000 season.

Stanley (Sr. - Columbia, SC) had a tremendous fall and will be
counted on to provide power and speed with his 41 career stolen bases in 45
attempts. Stanley scored a team-best 85 runs and tied the Tiger
single-season record with 64 walks in '99 while batting in the leadoff
spot. Stanley will battle for the starting left-field spot.

Casey Stone (Jr. - Abbeville, SC) and Singleton have both made
significant improvements in the offseason. Stone, who had a phenomenal
1999 NCAA Tournament, gives Clemson a scrappy and hard-nosed presence on
the basepaths and in left field. Singleton, along with Holstad, has the
athletic ability and defensive versatility to play in the outfield. Kyle
Frank (So. - Wolfeboro, NH) along with Ryan Hub (Fr. - Sumter, SC), Alan
Lindsey (Fr. - Mechanicsville, VA), and Grant Redding (Fr. - Homewood, AL)
will provide depth in the Tiger outfield.

Frank has outstanding speed and a good arm. He will compete for a
starting spot in left or right field. Lindsey was a 44th-round selection
by the Red Sox in the 1999 Major League Draft, while Hub showed flashes in
preseason practice of what's to come with speed and aggressiveness.
Redding red-shirted in '99 and will provide depth in the outfield.


Pitching coach Kevin O'Sullivan will have to replace Mike Paradis
(first-round pick), Doug Roper (26th-round pick), and closer Chris Heck
(fifth-round pick), the top three pitchers in 1999 in terms of ERA.

Mottl (Sr. - Florissant, MO), a righthander, returns for his senior
season after a disappointing junior campaign. He will be counted on to
provide leadership with the young Tiger pitching staff. Mottl will look to
repeat his freshman and sophomore seasons that saw him win 10 and nine
games, respectively. He has experience with Team USA and has pitched 44.0
postseason innings in his three-year career. Mottl also has 23 career wins
while the rest of the Tiger staff has a combined 26 wins in Tigertown.

Other candidates for starting roles include righthander Scott
Berney (Sr. - Hamden, CT), a transfer from Connecticut, lefthander Thomas
Boozer (So. - Columbia, SC), and righthander Steve Reba (So. - Fort Wayne,
IN). Berney had a 14-9 record with a 2.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 179.2
innings pitched during three seasons at Connecticut. As freshmen, Boozer
and Reba combined for an 11-7 record and 14 starts. Boozer tied for the
team lead with six wins and Reba has added speed and control this year to
his already outstanding breaking pitch.

Lefthander Mike Proto (Jr. - Peabody, MA) came up big in a relief
role to earn the victory in the clinching win in the Fayetteville Regional.
For the second year in a row, he has the team's best returning ERA. Proto
provides a versatility in both starting and relief roles. Junior college
transfer and righthander Kevin Lynn (Jr. - North Augusta, SC) will also vie
for a starting spot in the rotation. Lynn had a 21-4 record in two seasons
at Spartanburg Methodist.

Veteran righthander Matt Additon (Sr. - Turner, ME) returns with a
career record of 12-5 in 163.1 innings pitched over three seasons. With 16
appearances in 2000, Additon will set the all-time Tiger record for career
appearances. Additon's breaking pitch has baffled opposing hitters for
three seasons. He has experience in both starting and relief roles.

Other veterans who will bolster the Tiger bullpen include
lefthanders Brandt Cook (So. - Mauldin, SC), Justin Lombardi (Jr. -
Taunton, MA), and Mike Rhue (So. - Gainesville, FL), along with
righthander Matt Henrie (So. - Jupiter, FL). Cook stepped up late in the
'99 season and gave the Tigers starting and relief innings, including a
pivotal win in relief against #10 North Carolina late in the regular
season. Lombardi and Rhue are two lefthanders who must become more
consistent and look to provide depth in the bullpen. Henrie was used
sparingly in '99, but work over the summer on his mechanics and change-up
should net positive results for Clemson in 2000.

Righthander Nick Glaser (Jr. - Wishkah, WA), a transfer from
Edmonds Community College in Washington, is a candidate for the closer
role. His coach at Edmonds, Hank King, is the new Tiger assistant coach,
replacing Mike Hampton; and his teammate at Edmonds was Riley, a fellow
Tiger newcomer and infielder.

Rookie righthanders Ryan Childs (Fr. - Gaithersburg, MD), a
17th-round selection by the White Sox, Chad Bendinelli (Fr. - Marietta,
GA), J.D. Davis (Fr. - Huntingtown, MD), James Dawson (Fr. - Portland, ME),
Paul Harrelson (Fr. - Spartanburg, SC), Patrick Hogan (Fr. - Columbia, SC),
and B.J. LaMura (Fr. - Ronkonkoma, NY), and sophomore transfer Rob Sine
(So. - Ballwin, MO) from Richmond, along with lefthanders Artie Catoe (Fr.
- West Columbia, SC), who is slated to red-shirt, and transfer Anthony
Urrico (So. - Staten Island, NY), a lefthander from Long Island University,
also have a chance to contribute in 2000.

Davis and Urrico have great movement on their pitches, and could
see valuable innings in 2000. Bendinelli was a high school teammate and
next door neighbor of Schmidt in Marietta, GA. Bendinelli comes from a
very successful Lassiter High program that has produced countless baseball
players over the years. LaMura was rated as the #100 high school prospect
in the nation last year by Baseball America.

Clemson's schedule features 37 home games, including 23 and 11-game
homestands from February to April. The Tigers open the season in January
in the ACC Disney Blast against Rice, defending National Champion Miami
(FL) and Central Florida, teams that are all ranked in Baseball America's
preseason top-25 poll. North Carolina and Wake Forest, who are also ranked
in the preseason, are the other two ACC teams in the six-team tournament.
UNLV and The Citadel will visit Tiger Field for three-game series in March.
Clemson also has non-conference home series with Old Dominion, James
Madison, and Ohio, and mid-week games with Coastal Carolina, William &
Mary, and East Carolina before the ACC season. During the conference
season, Clemson will face Georgia, UNC Charlotte, Western Carolina, Furman,
South Carolina, Elon, and Liberty. The 2000 ACC Tournament will be held in
the Charlotte area for the first time.

Preseason Baseball
America Poll

2.Cal. State-Fullerton
5.Miami (FL)
7.Florida State
8.Louisiana State
9.Georgia Tech
11.Southern California
13.Wichita State
17.Loyola Marymount
20.Notre Dame
21.Wake Forest
22.Arizona State
23.Central Florida
25.South Carolina

Preseason Collegiate
Baseball Poll

2.Cal. State-Fullerton
5.Miami (FL)
6.Florida State
8.Louisiana State
9.Georgia Tech
14.Wichita State
15.Southern California
18.Texas Tech
20.North Carolina
21.Texas A&M
22.Long Beach State
23.Oklahoma State
25.Notre Dame

Lettermen Returning	19
Lettermen Lost	12
Starting Position Players Returning (7)	  Brian Ellis (C),
	Khalil Greene (3B), Brian Holstad (LF), Bradley LeCroy (SS),
	Justin Singleton (RF), Henrí Stanley (CF), Casey Stone (LF)
Starting Position Players Lost (2)	Kurt Bultmann (2B), Jason Harris (1B)
Starting Pitchers Returning (4)	Thomas Boozer (L), Ryan Mottl (R),
	Mike Proto (L), Steve Reba (R)
Starting Pitchers Lost (2)	Brian Adams (L), Mike Paradis (R)
All-ACC Players Returning (2)	Patrick Boyd (OF), Ryan Mottl (RHP)
All-ACC Players Lost (3)	Kurt Bultmann (2B),
	Jason Harris (1B), Mike Paradis (RHP)
All-Americans Returning (2)	Patrick Boyd (OF), Ryan Mottl (RHP)
All-Americans Lost (1)	Kurt Bultmann (2B)

Returning Leaders
Batting Average	Patrick Boyd (.390)
Home Runs	Patrick Boyd (17)
Runs Scored	Henrí Stanley (85)
RBIs	Patrick Boyd (70)
Stolen Bases	Henrí Stanley (27)
Wins	Matt Additon, Thomas Boozer (6)
ERA	Mike Proto (5.43)
Strikeouts	Ryan Mottl (84)

1999 Review
Record	42-27 Overall, 25-7 Home, 8-13 Away, 9-7 Neutral
	NCAA Fayetteville (AR) Regional Champions
	NCAA College Station (TX) Super Regional Participant
ACC Regular-Season Record (finish)	13-10 (3rd)
ACC Tournament Record (finish)	3-2 (2nd)
NCAA Tournament Record	4-1 in Fayetteville Regional
	1-2 in College Station Super Regional
Final Clemson Rankings
 	17th by Baseball America,,
	13th by Collegiate Baseball,
	14th by USA Today Baseball Weekly
Highest Rankings	
        11th by Baseball America (Feb. 15-21),
	12th by Collegiate Baseball (May 31 - June 6),
	13th by USA Today Baseball Weekly (Feb. 15-21)
Record vs. Top-25 Ranked Teams	12-12

1999 NCAA Statistical Rankings
Individual	Category	Figure	Rank
Jason Harris	Walks/Game	0.93	T-24th
Henrí Stanley	Walks/Game	0.93	T-24th

Team	Category	        Figure	Rank
Clemson	Doubles/Game	        2.45	15th
Clemson	Runs/Game	        8.87	17th
Clemson	Double Plays/Game	1.09	23rd

  Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Clemson LB signee suffers knee injury playing basketball
Clemson LB signee suffers knee injury playing basketball
Report: Former Clemson receiver re-signs with Chargers
Report: Former Clemson receiver re-signs with Chargers
Former Clemson RB signs with Bucs
Former Clemson RB signs with Bucs
Clemson targets, commits see movement in new Rivals rankings
Clemson targets, commits see movement in new Rivals rankings
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Daily Digest