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2016 Clemson Baseball Season Preview: Infielders

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 Clemson infield could be very interesting. A combination of entrenched starters and young talent will give Coach Monte Lee a lot of opportunities if things don't work well early on. Even if Clemson starts strong, some different lineup combinations could be seen to maximize the offensive output and defensive performance, a real weakness in 2015.

Eli White (Junior) - White, an Easley, South Carolina, native, spent 2015 as the starting shortstop for Clemson and eventually moved into the leadoff spot of the lineup as the season progress. He's a career .277 hitter but hit .297 in 2015 and has some nice speed that he's used to stretch out a few triples and some stolen bases. Fielding is going to be White's main concern. Last year he had 19 errors for a .934 fielding percentage, one of the worst on the team. If he can cut down on those errors he's going to be a solid player for Clemson this year.

Weston Wilson (Junior) - The High Point, North Carolina, native may be considered Clemson's best power hitter in the lineup, but the main 3B could certainly do better in 2016. Wilson hit .251 last year but he closed out the 2015 season an excellent hot streak that helped propel Clemson into the NCAA tournament. Like all of his teammates, Wilson would do well to reduce his strikeouts from 46. Oh and once again reducing errors would be nice. Like White, Wilson had 19 errors last year making that side of the infield a real liability.

Adam Renwick (Sophomore) - The Spartanburg, South Carolina native played most of last year as a defensive replacement at 2B. That's not exactly encouraging considering he had 4 errors for a .907 fielding percentage, one of the lowest on the team. At the risk of sounding like a broken record he will need to spend some time cleaning up those errors, especially if he's going to spend time at 3B as Coach Lee has indicated. Renwick's hitting was ok for a situational player at .200, but that has to be better as well. Hopefully Renwick has been able to develop enough after his first season at Clemson to becomes that quality second baseman that the Tigers need.

Glenn Batson (R Sophomore) - A Greenville, South Carolina, native, Batson spent some time at a variety of infielder positions including starts at third base and first base. Like Renwick, Batson will need to work to improve his hitting, .219 last year, but his defense appeared to be at least adequate last year. With several infielders also doubling as outfielders, a good offseason by Batson might mean he secures the 1B position on a more regular basis this year.

Grayson Byrd (Sophomore) - Though Grayson is a Milton, Georgia, native, he arrives at Clemson as a transfer from LSU. He will sit out the 2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but could be a nice addition going forward as an infielder that can play a variety of positions. He saw playing time at 2B, 3B, and as a DH last year at LSU.

Final Thoughts:

From this you can see that the true infielders list is pretty short. Thankfully Clemson has a lot of outfielders that can also double up at infield positions, especially first base. Based on comments from head coach Monte Lee, Weston Wilson is going to move over to 2B to solidify the middle of the infield, a key to success for Clemson. This also frees up Chase Pinder to play CF this year. Adam Renwick will get the nod at 3B now, hopefully his defense has improved, while 1B appears to be a rotation until someone can solidify the starting spot.

As always the key is going to be defense. Clemson got killed in 2015 by defensive miscues from the infield and with an unknown quantity for pitching giving up easy runs just can't happen.