A few months ago, it seemed unlikely that University of Texas second baseman, Kody Clemens, would be selected among the first 150 picks. In the end, the Detroit Tigers selected him with the first pick of third round. What changed? From the beginning of May, Clemens has been on fire. The power eruption carried into the college playoffs.
On Monday, the Longhorns defeated Tennessee Tech 5-2, winning back-to-back elimination games to advance from the Austin Super Regional to the College World Series. Kody Clemens cracked his third bomb of the series to help the offense. It was his 24th home run of the season. On Sunday, he’d doubled and homered as the Longhorns took Game Two. Clemens’ rampage has been a major factor in carrying the Longhorns to the College World Series.
Get a look at that home run power in these clips.
"This is the game and this is the series, where you cement your legacy if you're a Longhorn or an Aggie."— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 2, 2018
Kody Clemens. Legendary. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/tlUbC0eky8
The latest yardwork from Kody Clemens pic.twitter.com/Ps1i0pnh28— Teddy Cahill (@tedcahill) June 11, 2018
Clemens also plays with sparks of his father’s intensity and cockiness, which is rubbing people the wrong way just a bit. He’s shown a penchant for the cold stare and gesture combination toward the opposing dugout after several home runs.
Things didn’t go as well for Mize in the playoffs as they have for Clemens. In fact, the Tigers’ number one overall pick couldn’t have ended his season on a lower note. He was rocked by the Florida Gators in a matchup against Brady Singer on Saturday. Mize allowed six runs and just didn’t have his command, uncharacteristically walking four hitters and issuing a base on a hit by pitch as well. He wasn’t available the next two days, and the Gators eliminated Auburn on Monday night with a freak home run that got an assist over the fence.
FINAL: No. 1 Florida #Gators baseball advances to fourth-straight #CWS with walk-off homer in B11 for 3-2 win over Auburn.— OnlyGators.com Florida Gators news (@onlygators) June 12, 2018
Austin Langworthy makes the defending champions OKC-worthy. pic.twitter.com/1fcO3ItZJx
Ouch. It sucks to lose like that.
From the Detroit Tigers’ perspective, it’s probably just a well that Auburn’s playoff run came up well short. Mize is already well over his innings total from 2017, and is probably due to be shut down, as the Tigers did with 2017 first round selection, Alex Faedo, who won the College World Series with the Gators last season. If the Tigers choose that course, it’s unfortunate that Mize’s last impression will be his struggles in recent weeks. Fans will have to wait to see him until spring of 2019.
Short Season and Rookie Ball
With the draft over, and the college season nearing its completion, the Connecticut Tigers will get underway in the New York-Penn League. Catching prospects Sam McMillan and Gresuan Silverio appear destined for Connecticut, along with shortstops Isrrael de la Cruz and Jose King and teenage Aussie left-hander, Jack O’Laughlin.
Meanwhile the Gulf Coast League and the Dominican Summer League are well underway, with Gulf Coast Tigers East and West featuring a few recent international free agent signings. Corner outfielder Julio Martinez has a .259 average and .721 OPS for GCL Tigers West. Shortstop Alvaro Gonzalez and and Pedro Martinez Jr., the big ticket items from the last international signing period, are just getting underway in the DSL.