#25 Clemson Baseball 2015 Preview

Clemson Tigers

Overall Rank: #25
Conference Rank: #6 ACC  
#25 Clemson Baseball 2015 Preview
Clemson Team Page


A tough 2014 season came to an abrupt end during the Nashville Regional as the Clemson Tigers lost to Oregon 18-1 in the opening round and could never recover through the consolation bracket. However, Clemson is always a team on annual basis that will battle you as fiercely as anyone in the country and they always have that potential to make a run to Omaha if everything falls into place.

2014: 36-25, 15-14
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jack Leggett

Field Players:
The Tigers are going to have to rely on speed and execution to win games in 2015 as they will not be able to truly outslug teams on a consistent basis. The lineup should be very balanced as catcher Chris Okey is the leading returning power hitter with four homeruns and 41 runs batted in. Outfielder Steven Duggar provides one of the top speed threats on the bases in all of college baseball, stealing 25 bases in 2014. Infielder Tyler Krieger is an excellent contact hitter and speed demon as well. He hit .338 last year and stole 19 bases. Outfielder Tyler Slaton provides a nice mix of timely hitting and defensive prowess, as he drove in 25 runs and only committed two errors in 2014.

While Daniel Gossett will not be easy to replace for the Tigers, they do return Matthew Crownover who should be the Friday night starter in 2015. Crownover was 8-6 with a 2.90 earned run average in 2014 over the course of 16 starts in 17 appearances for Clemson. Crownover does scatter hits, as he allowed 94 hits over 99.1 innings last season, but did a pretty good job overall of minimizing the damage against him by the opposition. Clate Schmidt, a junior right-handed pitcher, should be in the weekend rotation as well. Schmidt was solid in 2014 despite having a 5-7 record overall. Other guys to watch in the battle to make the starting rotation will be Zach Erwin and Jake Long, who had a combined 19 starts in 2014.

Who to Watch:
The closer position is going to be very critical for coach Leggett to resolve as the Tigers will have to replace the production of Matt Campbell from last season. Campbell was lights out as he was 4-0 with a 0.84 earned run average and virtually unhittable, allowing just 16 hits in 32 innings of work while accumulating 13 saves. The top candidate to replace Campbell should be Drew Moyer. He was 5-1 a year ago out of the bullpen with a 3.46 earned run average and, if he can cut down the opponents’ batting average from .272 a year ago to the .220 range, he should be able to make a run at a 13 save type of season in 2015.

Final Projection:
Like always, Clemson has a tough schedule in 2015. They play a pesky West Virginia team to start the season and the usual suspects out of conference opponents will then follow in ensuing weeks. The Tigers will play two of the annual three games against rival South Carolina in Columbia on February 28th and March 1st. A trip to Coastal Carolina on March 17th in Conway is never easy, as the Chanticleers always raise their level of play against Clemson. The conference schedule is pretty fair for the most part as the Tigers don’t have to play Virginia and their toughest road trip will be at Florida State in conference play. This Clemson team has enough balance and depth to make a run at 40 wins or more in 2015 as long as they stay healthy and execute enough offensively in key situations to win games.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Tyler Slaton, OF, 241
Hits: Steven Duggar, OF, 70
Home Runs: Chris Okey, C, 4
RBIs: Chris Okey, C, 41
Runs: Tyler Slaton, OF, 46
Stolen Bases: Steven Duggar, OF, 25

Wins: Mathew Crownover, P, 8
Innings Pitched: Matthew Crownover, P, 99.1
Strikeouts: Matthew Crownover, P, 90
Saves: Zack Erwin, P, 2; Drew Moyer, P, 2

Madness 2015 MLB Draft Rankings:
#55 Steven Duggar


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