The final swings of the 2018 season in Omaha were the last swings in the Texas Longhorns career of second baseman Kody Clemens, who announced on Monday that he’s signed with the Detroit Tigers.
Selected with the first pick in the third round by the Tigers, Clemens was in line for an estimated slot bonus of $750,800, but opted to sign for $600,000, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis.
Due to Tommy John surgery between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Clemens struggled during his second year with the Longhorns, hitting only .241 with five home runs and 25 RBIs, similar numbers to his debut as a freshman.
However, a return to full health and some tweaks made to his swing as a junior helped Clemens rocket to a Big 12 Player of the Year award, All-American honors, and a legitimate chance to win the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top player.
The 6’0, 185-pounder was clutch all season in hitting .351 with 24 home runs and 72 RBIs. The slugging numbers and a discerning eye at the plate helped Clemens post an OPS of 1.170 as a junior. At the end of the regular season and early in postseason play, Clemens was simply unstoppable, crushing home runs even after opposing coaches publicly speculated about not pitching to him.
So the 2018 season by Clemens will go down as one of the all-time best in school history as Clemens nearly single handedly carried the offense to an unexpected birth in the College World Series.
Thanks for all the incredible moments this season, Kody, and best of luck at the next level. Horns do indeed go up. Always.