Kier Meredith showed flashes of what he brings to the baseball diamond for Clemson last season. However, because of nagging injuries there was something left to be desired by him and the fans.
Meredith entered the program with high expectations based on his high school performance and evaluations by Major League scouts. He was drafted in the 28thround out of Glenn High School, N.C., by the Chicago Cubs and spent time on the 18-and-under USA Baseball team as a junior in high school.
Coming into the 2018 season he was dubbed the No. 4 freshman in the ACC by Baseball America and the No. 8 ACC prospect for the 2020 draft by Perfect Game. But injuries limited his success on the field.
In fall practice last season, Meredith suffered a torn labrum that kept him out of the game plan until the second half of the year. However, he showed promise in the Notre Dame series hitting 2-for-3 with a triple in the Friday game and in the first game of a double header he went 1-for-2 with a home run, two hit-by-pitches and two steals.
Injuries came back to bug Meredith when he slammed into the wall against Miami. Afterwards, he never got back to a healthy medium. He finished with season batting .195 with eight runs, a double, triple, home run and four RBIs but maintained a .411 on-base percentage.
As No. 14 Clemson approaches a new season, Meredith is now ready to show fans what he has to bring to the field at 100-percent for the first time since he entered the Tiger locker room.
“This is the first time I have been healthy in a long time and I am ready to go,” Meredith said. “On opening day, I’ll be out there ready to go.
“This is the most healthy I’ve been since before I came to Clemson and I’m feeling great.”
It has been a long rehab process for the sophomore outfielder, but with the loss of power hitters in Chris Williams and Seth Beer, Meredith will be vital for the new brand of Clemson baseball. His speed on the base paths and ability to get on base will be a big key for success this season.
Meredith is aware of what Clemson is losing at the plate, but is confident they can maintain success with a different style of play.
“We lost a lot of guys and some big power bats,” he said. “We will be more athletic this year and have some more speed on the bases to try and create runs a little differently.”
For Meredith the biggest improvement, however, has been with bonds in the locker room. The culture has improved and it his eyes should breed success in the regular season and beyond.
“The culture is great under great leadership from Logan Davidson and Carson Spiers, guys are coming together and we are ready to go,” he said. “It’s an even playing field in the locker room, there’s no hierarchy. Freshmen are comfortable with seniors and seniors are comfortable with freshmen, it’s a great environment.”
The Tigers open the 2019 season against South Alabama at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson on Feb. 15, in Game 1 of a three-game series.
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