Photo by © David Grooms/Clemson Sports Talk
Clemson Baseball

Clemson Baseball: Inside the Numbers - N.C. State Series

March 16, 2018

Try Clemson Sports Talk Premium for $1

Later today we will release an exclusive interview with Clemson's Monte Lee. Join the only website that combines full coverage of the Clemson Tigers with a two-hour radio show that airs Monday through Friday covering your Tigers.


Clemson is off to a 16-1 start (3-0 in the ACC) heading into the weekend series with ACC rival North Carolina State (15-3, 2-1).  The Wolfpack opened ACC play by taking 2 of 3 against Boston College in Raleigh last weekend.

Like last week for the Tigers, this is a 5 game week for North Carolina State.  The Pack took both mid-week games from UNC-Asheville by the scores of 15-11 and 6-2.

This is likely to be Clemson's biggest challenge to date as the Pack comes in with the following national rankings: 3rd in home runs (1.83 per game), 3rd in batting average (.341), 4th in on-base % (.441), 4th in slugging (.567) and 11th in scoring (8.6 runs per game).

That said, the Pack's early strength of schedule is ranked 169th, while the Tigers early slate comes in at 17th.

Tale of the Tape

Team Batting OBP Slugging ERA WHIP Fielding Scoring
Clemson .265 .390 .456 2.68 1.21 .980 6.9
N.C. State .341 .441 .567  3.11 1.18 .971 8.6

Very Early Resume 

The information below should be balanced with the knowledge that the Tigers are 3 games into a tough 30 game ACC schedule. 

Record RPI SOS RPI 1-50 RPI 51-100 RPI 101-150 RPI 151-297
16-1 1 17 6-0 0-0 4-1 6-0

This early in the season RPI and strength of schedules tend to fluctuate wildly from game to game and week to week.

Jonesing for a Tuesday Starter

In the bigger picture, Jones could turn into the primary weekday starter

While I don't want to make too much of Holt Jones performance on Tuesday against a light hitting Charleston Southern team, especially with a generous home plate umpire, I will say Jones showed great potential.

In the bigger picture, Jones could turn into the primary weekday starter that has been missing to date and another quality arm come regional time.


Jacob Hennessy remains unhittable the first time through the order and Brooks Crawford and Jake Higginbotham have been pretty good, too, which means the Tigers have had a great chance to get early leads.

NOTE: This only measures batting average, not on base or slugging percentage.


Leading Off

Clemson retired all 9 Charleston Southern leadoff batters on Tuesday.

A Little Byrdie Told Me

Not exactly sure what to say about Grayson Byrd's 3 homer game Tuesday, but "congrats".  Byrd had been struggling but barrelled up a couple times on a day when the rest of the lineup took the day off.

All or Nothing

How much longer will Monte Lee go with Bryce Teodosio?  Yes, he had a couple of bombs last weekend, but he's struck out 24 tmes in 15 starts (59 plate appearances) and is batting .176.  Other than his 3 homeruns, Teodosio has 6 hits. 

Lee mentioned preseason that Wharton can (and he has) played center, so you wonder if a day will come with Wharton in center, Jolly in left and another bat at DH. 

Teodosio has played excellent centerfield defense, so here's hoping he can swing his way out of it.

Switching Beers

The lineup was changed a bit on Tuesday, the biggest eyebrow raiser for me was Cromwell and Beer switching spots.  The theory in batting Beer second was to get him more at bats, but 17 games in he only has 12 RBI, despite 6 home runs. That means of course, that Beer has only 6 RBI other than himself.

Here's the reality: Beer has come to the plate with 49 runners on and 24 runners in scoring position, while Cromwell (57/30), Wharton (61/32) and Williams (69/32) have had more opportunities.

Part of that is batting second (one less opportunity for someone to get on base ahead of you) and part is the 9th place batter hitting .176.  Here's the reality: Beer has come to the plate with 49 runners on and 24 runners in scoring position, while Cromwell (57/30), Wharton (61/32) and Williams (69/32) have had more opportunities.

Beer does have more plate appearances (80) than Cromwell (75), but almost all of that can be traced to Cromwell not starting opening day and batting 7th early in the season.  There's not going to be a huge difference in plate appearances between second and third in the order, but there is a difference in the number of runners on base and in scoring position, partly because Beer himself is on base so much when Cromwell comes to the plate.

Will be interested to see if this switch was a temporary, mid-week test run or something that will stick.  It seems to me the goal should be to get Beer more at bats with runners on base vs. more at-bats by batting second rather than third.


Quality At Bats

These numbers took a bit of a dip on Tuesday for almost everyone except Grayson Byrd and Robert Jolly (Jolly didn't play Tuesday).

This metric is calculated different ways by different teams and at times can be subjective depending on who is measuring the at-bat.  The goal was to capture as much data as possible to better understand decisions made by the coaching staff.


I wanted more evidence on Cromwell at first and got a positive data point Tuesday when Logan Davidson's high throw was snagged by Cromwell who came down on the bag for the out. 

The Tigers .980 fielding percentage is good for 25th nationally.

Actual vs. Expected Record

Clemson is 7-1 in 1 run games on the season.  "Luck" has been on Clemson's side to some extent and that's reflected in the numbers below.  

Actual Record Expected Record "Luck" Expected Season Record
16-1 14-3 +2 45-11

Upcoming Schedule

Date Opponent Location Current Record Current RPI
3/16-3/18 North Carolina State Clemson 15-3 (2-1 in ACC) 59
3/20 Coastal Carolina Conway 12-7 64
3/23-3/25 Louisville Louisville 15-2 (2-1 in ACC) 78
3/27 Furman Fluor Field 10-6 142
3/29-3/31 Boston College Clemson 6-8 (1-2 in ACC) 57

*Baseball resume information via

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.