Kody Clemens

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Kody Clemens

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Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Kody Clemens is the son of Roger Clemens and the younger brother of Koby Clemens and Kacy Clemens. He was first drafted by the Houston Astros in the 35th round of the 2015 amateur draft, but chose to follow his father's footsteps at the University of Texas. A shortstop in high school, he was a starter at third base as a freshman in college, but then had to undergo Tommy John surgery after the season and spent most of his sophomore year, in 2017, as a designated hitter. He got back to playing full-time at second base as a junior in 2018, hitting .342 with 21 homers and 68 RBIs. He was the Big 12 Conference player of the year and one of four finalists for the Golden Spikes Award that year, losing out to Andrew Vaughn. He was then drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 3rd round of the 2018 amateur draft, with the 79th overall pick.

Clemens began his professional career in 2018 with the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League, then was promoted to the Lakeland Flying Tigers after 41 games. In 52 games between the two clubs, he hit .288/.365/.450. In 2019, he spent most of the season at Lakeland, in the Florida State League, where he hit .238 in 115 games, but also got his first taste of AA with 13 games for the Erie SeaWolves of the Eastern League. His combined numbers in 128 games were .231/.310/.397, with 26 doubles, 7 triples and 12 homers, 48 runs scored and 63 RBIs. He wasn't able to play in the minors in 2020, as the season was wiped out by the Coronavirus pandemic, but instead played 28 games in the Constellation Energy League, an independent four-team circuit set up in his native Texas to give out of work professional players a chance to get some action in that summer. He was on a team called "Team Texas" with his brother Kacy and hit .233 in 28 games.

He made his major league debut with the Tigers on May 31, 2022, starting at second base in the second game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins. He went 0 for 3 with a walk in a 4-0 win. He started off 0 for 17 before finally getting his first hit (and his second as well) on June 13th against the Chicago White Sox. On June 15th, he was called to the mound to pitch the 8th inning in a 13-0 loss to Chicago. He had started the game at third base and was the second of three mystery pitchers for the Tigers that day: Harold Castro worked the 7th with an 11-0 deficit, then Clemens allowed one run on three hits in the 8th, and Tucker Barnhart pitched the 9th, also giving up a run. It was his first pitching appearance as a pro. His fastball topped out just below 50 mph - a bit slower than his father's; that said, manager A.J. Hinch had told him to throw as slowly as possible. He made another appearance on the mound on September 5th, in a 10-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels and recoreded his first career strikeout, his victim being Shohei Ohtani.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jack Baer: "Roger Clemens' son, who is not a pitcher, makes MLB pitching debut", Yahoo! Sports, June 15, 2022. [1]
  • Jason Beck: "Tigers taking notice of Clemens in camp: Second-base prospect will take reps at 1B to expand opportunities", mlb.com, March 6, 2021. [2]
  • Jason Beck: "Proud papa: Rocket looks on as son Kody debuts", mlb.com, June 1, 2022. [3]
  • Adrian Garro: "Kody Clemens, Roger's son, records 1st K ... vs. Ohtani!", mlb.com, September 6, 2022. [4]
  • Tyler Fenwick: "Tigers open Day 2 with bang: Clemens' son: Texas second baseman is Big 12 Conference Player of the Year", mlb.com, June 5, 2018. [5]

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