In positive news for the Texas Longhorns baseball program, senior first baseman Kacy Clemens was selected in the eighth round of the 2017 MLB Draft on Tuesday with the 249th pick by the Toronto Blue Jays.
In what may ultimately prove to be less positive news of the future of head coach David Pierce’s second season in Austin, slugging junior second baseman Bret Boswell was also selected in the eight round, as the Colorado Rockies took Boswell off the board with the 236th pick.
Clemens completed his Texas career as a first baseman after also spending time on the mound during his first two seasons.
The focus on his craft as a hitter, along with the addition of what became his trademark glasses, helped Clemens raise his batting average from .204 in 2014 to .303 in 2015. A power surge accompanied the meteoric rise in batting average, with the 6’1, 215-pounder producing 20 extra-base hits in 185 at bats after producing zero in 49 at bats the previous season.
As a senior, the fiery son of Longhorns legend Roger Clemens saw another power surge while maintaining his batting average, hitting 12 home runs.
Since Clemens commands the strike zone exceptionally well, bats left handed, and is an excellent defensive first baseman, his odds of eventually reaching the major leagues — or at least playing a long time in the minors — have increased significantly over the last two years.
In fact, he’s one of the more remarkable success stories in Longhorns baseball in recent memory.
Boswell has never quite able to put it all together for Texas, but was selected before Clemens because of his upside. The redshirt sophomore from Rockwall-Heath hit seven home runs for the ‘Horns on the season, including two against Oklahoma State. His 33 RBIs ranked second on the team.
Because Boswell is a toolsy player with left-handed pop and a steady glove, he’s widely expected to take advantage of his negotiation position this season and make the jump to professional baseball.