Now that the 2017 season for Clemson baseball has ended we are reviewing how things went position by position. Today we are taking a look at how the infielders did in 2017.
Starting at catcher, Chris Williams did an excellent job behind the plate and offensively. He hit .261 this year but was able to turn that into a .575 slugging percentage, good for second best on the team. His injury was unfortunate this year because his replacement, Kyle Wilkie, was not exactly lighting things up on offense.
Andrew Cox did well in his final season at Clemson with a .280 average. He ended up playing in all but one game and hit .060 over his career average. An excellent way to end his career.
Robert Jolly also had another good year for the Tigers. Though he only started 26 games this year, he did get into 40 games during the season and was able to hit .280 though he had almost no power. Jolly did have a nice .373 OBP to go with his average and a decent fielding percentage. So not at all was lost
Grayson Byrd did well as a transfer from LSU. After sitting out 2016 due to his transfer, Byrd slotted into the lineup and did well, hitting for .284. He didn’t hit for much power this year, but as a redshirt sophomore it is something for him to work on. Byrd should be a key piece of the lineup as we look towards 2018.
Logan Davidson was the freshman phenom for Clemson this year, even if he wasn’t the type of player that Seth Beer was last year. As a freshman Davidson hit .286 at shortstop while playing in all 63 games this year. He was third on the team in home runs with 12, but didn’t produce much power overall. He should be a cornerstone of the infield in 2018 as well.
Patrick Cromwell performed okay in mop up duty this year for Clemson. He got into 33 games during the 2017 season and hit .203. We’ll see what he’s able to do moving forward, but it is hard to see him doing much more than having a role player part in 2018 and beyond.
Adam Renwrick didn’t exactly light the world on fire for Clemson this year. Renwirck was relegated to mop up duty in 12 games this year, only getting 1 start. He ended up with a .000 average for the year in 4 at-bats.
One area that the infield definitely improved from the 2016 season was fielding. The early part of this year was definitely concerning, but the entire team worked to improve their fielding percentage and we saw the Tigers finish with a .970 fielding percentage. That was good enough for 124th in the country. Last year Clemson finished the season with a .960 fielding percentage and 246th in the country, so we are seeing progress. For reference the best teams in the country usually finish just a shade above .980. A lot of that improvement is down to the infield given how often they are handling the ball.
Ultimately the 2017 season was a solid one for the infielders, but this team does seem to be lacking a bit of offensive production from these guys. That is the next step for this team, finding some more offensive production from the infield to take this offense to the next level.