Roger Clemens' son Kacy Clemens was drafted in the 35th round of the 2013 MLB draft by the Houston Astros. However, he has decided to forgo a professional career at this time for a chance to play at his father's alma mater, the University of Texas.
This was, by far, the correct decision, and his father agrees.
The legendary, if controversial, pitcher told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle that getting an education and competing for a national title was the right decision for his son:
“It was great to hear his name called and always an honor to be selected,” said Roger Clemens, who picked the final two letters of Kacy’s name as a nod to the Cy Young Award. “His sights will be set on the ‘The University’ to get his education and get the Horns back to Omaha!”
Kacy confirmed his excitement, but reiterated his commitment to being a Longhorn:
Got drafted by the Houston Astros! Pretty cool! But I will still be a longhorn! Hook'em!— Kacy Clemens (@KClemens21) June 8, 2013
Kacy, an 18-year-old pitcher with Memorial High School in Houston, posted an 8-0 record with a 1.09 ERA. He also earned Rawlings Second-Team All-America honors.
While he did put up great numbers, Clemens is not yet ready for professional ball. He does have a smooth delivery, adopting his father's famous push-off from the mound. However, that's where the comparisons to his father end right now.
His fastball barely touches the 90s and he has little movement. Unless he has pinpoint control of his fastball, it will get pounded by minor and major league hitters.
His best off-speed pitch is definitely his curveball, which displays a nice drop and a tight spin. In fact, his curveball gives him the best chance of making it to the majors down the road. With a developing fastball, Clemens' curveball has enough spin to make hitters miss or, at the very least, keep them off balance.
Clemens also possesses a changeup, but as of now it's not ready for prime time. More development in college on this pitch will be needed.
He does have decent control, which will be needed considering his stuff is just average. Pitchers can survive without an electric fastball or a dynamic breaking pitch, but they need to have pinpoint control. Luckily, it seems like any tutoring from his father has paid off—Clemens displays the ability to hit targets and move around the strike zone.
Still, there's a reason Clemens was selected in the 35th round. And if his last name wasn't Clemens, he might have been drafted later.
Clemens is not ready for minor league ball. He needs to work on improving his off-speed stuff, as his fastball will get smacked around. His curveball is probably his ticket to the bigs, but even that needs improving.
He will spend three years as a Longhorn before re-entering the draft. It's a wise decision. If Clemens puts up big numbers and shows improvement in his stuff, then there's no reason why he wouldn't be selected higher. But if he were to go straight to the minors, his development could be stalled and he could lose confidence.
Clemens does have a chance to become a major league pitcher eventually, although if he does, he profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter or a long man. Three years in college gives him the best chance at reaching his potential. It allows him to build on his father's legacy in Austin as well as get an education.