Detroit has given Texas junior Kody Clemens an opportunity to continue working in the family business.
On Tuesday, Clemens was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the first pick of the MLB Draft’s second day. The Tigers used a third-round pick (79th overall) on Clemens.
Clemens’ selection comes one year after his older brother, Kacy, was taken by Toronto in the draft’s eighth round. Another brother, Koby, was drafted by Houston in the eighth round of 2005’s draft. Clemens’ father, Roger, won 354 games and seven Cy Young Awards over his 24-year career.
— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) June 5, 2018
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) June 5, 2018
Clemens compiled modest numbers over his first two years on campus, but this spring has served as his breakout campaign. Using a left-handed swing, the 6-0, 185-pound Clemens leads Texas in batting average (.346), runs (55) and RBIs (68). His 21 homers rank fifth nationally and second in the school’s history books. Used primarily as a designated hitter in 2017 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, Clemens has been solid at second base for one of the NCAA’s best defenses.
This year, Clemens has been named the Big 12’s Player of the Year and an All-American.
Clemens will have until July 6 to decide if he wants to sign with the Tigers or return to Texas for his senior year. As the 79th overall pick, Clemens is in line to receive an estimated signing bonus of $750,800. At least one rival doesn’t think that he’ll see Clemens in a Texas uniform in 2019.
“Kody Clemens has worn us out for three years, so I’m glad he’s player of the year and I’m glad he’s going into pro ball,” Kansas coach Ritch Price said after the Jayhawks upset Texas at the Big 12 tournament on May 23.
Clemens met with reporters about two hours before the draft’s second day started on Tuesday. Clemens said his focus is on UT’s upcoming meeting with Tennessee Tech in the super regionals. He did say he would take time to celebrate his upcoming selection.
“I’m definitely going to celebrate whatever happens,” Clemens said. “It’s obviously a dream of mine. The focus is honestly on Omaha right now and I’m loving being a Texas Longhorn.”
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