Baseball Notes: Freshman Catcher Injured; Weather Limits Practice

Brad Senkiw

CLEMSON — Clemson freshman catcher Jonathan French suffered a leg injury that will keep him out indefinitely, head coach Monte Lee announced Tuesday.

French, one of Clemson’s most highly touted players in the 2019 class, will be reevaluated in four weeks to see if and when he could play in 2020.

“We don’t know how long (French will be out),” Lee said. “He had a leg injury that he sustained a few days ago and it looks like he could be out for quite some time. He will not be available in any capacity at least for four weeks before we know more.”

French is the fourth announced Clemson player since January who won’t be starting the 2020 campaign Friday against Liberty at 4 p.m.

An arm injury ended pitcher Jacob Hennessy’s college career while left-handed pitcher Ryne Huggins is also out for the season with an arm injury. Outfielder Michael Green was dismissed from the team.

French, a 5-foot-10, 220-pound Lilburn, Ga., native, was ranked as the No. 4 freshman in the ACC by Perfect Game. Baseball American named French the No. 3 ACC prospect for the 2022 MLB draft.

Field conditions

Mother Nature has taken its toll on Doug Kingsmore Stadium’s field and has not allowed the Tigers to get in their typical practice time recently.

“It’s been very tough with the snow and the rain that we’ve had here to get on the field and get quality work in,” Lee said. “We can’t control the weather so we don’t worry about it. This weekend looks like it’s going to be OK.”

The tarp was taken off the field Tuesday afternoon in hopes of the sun and rain would dry it out. Lee moved the team practice to 5 p.m. so they could get more work on it. The plan was to hit, but he wasn’t sure if they would be able to do much else at Doug Kingsmore.

“Trying to maximize what we can do on it,” Lee said.

Rain will return Wednesday, but the weather forecast for opening weekend is calling for dry conditions Friday and Saturday with a 20 percent chance of rain Sunday.

Hall wins shortstop job

Lee named junior Sam Hall the starting shortstop Tuesday. Hall beat out sophomore James Parker in what Lee called a close competition.

Hall is replacing Logan Davidson, who was selected 29th overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2019 MLB Draft. In Hall’s 61 starts a year ago, 38 were in the outfield. He made the rest of his starts at second and third base in 2019.

Hall hit .257 with seven home runs, 12 doubles and 32 RBIs. Lee said Tuesday he values three positions defensively before offense: shortstop, catcher and centerfield.

“Sam was our best the fall and in the preseason,” Lee said. “He deserves it because he was the most consistent.”