There is no doubt the 2018 baseball season will be a big year for Clemson All-American Seth Beer. More than likely it will be his last at Clemson as he positions himself for a possible first-round pick in this summer’s MLB Draft.
But to get there, Beer feels like he needs to become a better all-around baseball player. Some people might ask how can a former Dick Howser Award winner, as the nation’s best player, get any better than he already is.
Beer is a .333 career hitter in his first two years at Clemson. He has 34 home runs and 123 RBIs. Reached base in 66 straight games from 2016-‘17, has a slug percentage of .651 and is first in Tigers’ history in walks per at-bat with one in every 3.34.
So how will he get any better?
“I think the biggest thing for me is I started focusing on becoming more a good baseball player than just a great hitter,” Beer said. “So this year, I really made it a big thing for me to go out there and take ground balls every day, run the bases the right way and do the little things right.
“Every day I come off the field and I can say, ‘I got better today,’ and not just as a hitter, but as a baseball player as a whole.”
Beer also wants to be a better first baseman. The Tigers tried to move him to first last year, but things just did not work out and he eventually moved to the outfield where he played right and left field and was the designated hitter some.
But knowing he wants to play at the next level, Beer went to work even harder in the off-season and in fall practice to get better at first. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, he is likely to play the position in the Major Leagues, and if he wants to have a long career in the pros he needed to get better at it.
“For me personally, I told myself if I could take as many ground balls or even more ground balls as I hit, I said I will be in a good spot,” he said. “Because I hit quite a bit, I think I put myself in a good situation, just going out there and really dedicating myself to the other side of the ball. People will see that I’m really just putting forth hard effort and time at the position.
“I think it has really just helped me.”
Time will tell. The 12th-ranked Tigers begin the new season on Feb. 16 when it hosts William & Mary in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.