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Baseball insider

Last weekend didn’t just represent a key recruiting weekend for Clemson’s football team in regards to North Carolina prospects.

High Point Wesleyan (N.C.) SS/3B Weston Wilson also considered N.C. State and USC.

The Tigers’ baseball team has landed a second priority target from the state who visited campus for the weekend.

Weston Wilson, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound third baseman/shortstop from High Point Wesleyan (N.C.), committed to Clemson over offers from N.C. State and USC.

Prospect Wire put Wilson on its MLB Top Prospect team and described him as a Chipper Jones-clone physically who has a big arm defensively with power potential and above-average bat speed at the plate.

As previously noted, Clemson also snagged a commitment from Weddington (N.C.) lefty Alex Bostic.

Wilson gives the Tigers eight pledges for the 2013 class.

2013 commitments

Glen Batson – 3B (6-2, 185), Greenville (S.C.)
Alex Bostic – LHP (6-3, 195), Weddington (N.C.)
Tucker Burgess – RHP (6-2, 160), Easley (S.C.)
Chris Okey – C (6-0, 170), Eustis (Fla.)
Reed Rohlman – OF (6-2, 175), Byrnes (S.C.)
Cody Smith – 2B/RHP (5-11, 170), Lexington (S.C.)
Eli White – SS/2B (6-1, 170), Wren (S.C.)
Weston Wilson – SS/3B (6-3, 180), High Point Wesleyan (N.C.)

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LHP commit Alex Bostic plays for the South Charlotte Panthers, the same travel ball program from which Clemson landed three 2012 signees.

Signed, and now for the delivery

The early baseball signing period ended Wednesday, and Clemson signed the 14 prospects expected to join the class.

The headliners for the class include Allatoona (Ga.) righty Clate Schmidt, Brookwood righty Lucas Sims and Ringgold (Ga.) lefty Matthew Crownover – all ranked among the top 41 prospects nationally by Perfect Game.

Kevin Bradley – SS (6-2, 185), Hopewell (N.J.)
Jackson Campana -- 3B (6-6, 205), Providence (N.C.)
Andrew Cox – OF (6-1, 195), Belton-Honea Path (S.C.)
Matthew Crownover – LHP (5-11, 175), Ringgold (Ga.)
Steven Duggar – OF (6-2, 170), Byrnes (S.C.)
Zack Erwin – LHP (6-5, 180), Duluth (Ga.)
Maleeke Gibson – OF (5-11, 155), Sumter (S.C.)
Brody Koerner – RHP (6-2, 170), J.M. Robinson (N.C.)
Tyler Krieger – INF (6-1, 170), Northview (Ga.)
Matt Reed – C (6-2, 185), Woodgrove (Va.)
Clate Schmidt – SS/RHP (6-1, 170), Allatoona (Ga.)
Lucas Sims – RHP (6-2, 195), Brookwood (Ga.)
Wales Toney – RHP (6-2, 180), T.L. Hanna (S.C.)
Kyle Whitman – 1B/RHP (6-3, 200), Nation Ford (S.C.)

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Look ahead

Clemson released its baseball schedule Wednesday. It opens the season Feb. 17 with a three-game home series against UAB. Practice begins Jan. 27.

Arguably the two biggest developments from fall ball were the progress displayed by their two best players, redshirt junior pitcher Kevin Brady and junior corner infielder Richie Shaffer.

Kevin Brady has shown no lingering effect from the elbow injury that hindered or sidelined him for most of last season.

The last time we saw Brady, he was Clemson’s set-up man, relegated to throwing almost exclusively fastballs in his recovery from a right elbow injury. Brady pitched two blazing innings in the Cape Cod League then shut down for the summer.

Brady was lights out in the fall, looking back to complete healthy while developing a breaking ball that could take him to the next level, so to speak, as a Friday night ace as well as prospect.

The other promising news was the smooth transition Shaffer had in moving from first base to third base. Shaffer played third base in high school but was needed to fill the hole left by first baseman Ben Paulsen’s departure upon arrival.

The switch allows Clemson to slide robust left-handed hitter Jon McGibbon into the lineup as well as theoretically shores up the Tigers’ defense on the other corner, which was an issue a year ago. Not to mention, should Shaffer fare well defensively, the move figures to further enhance Shaffer’s stock as a potential first-round draft pick.

At least freshmen positioned themselves to possible contribute early as well.

Daniel Gossett, a righty from Byrnes (S.C.) High, had a stellar finish to the fall and could vie with junior Scott Firth and sophomore Kevin Pohle for the Sunday starting job behind Brady and junior Dominic Leone. Gossett could also emerge as a candidate for the closer role.

Tyler Slaton, a 5-foot-7 outfielder from North Forsyth (Ga.), made significant progress, and the staff hopes his speed and hard-nosed style will provide a spark in the lineup somewhere.

Finally, Garrett Boulware, a catcher from T.L. Hanna (S.C.), hit the ball extremely well throughout the fall and could be a factor for a spot in the middle of the Tigers’ order. With Spencer Kieboom and Phil Pohl back at catcher, Boulware has logged time in the outfield with the goal of finding a spot at which he can fit in the lineup.

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