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Q&A with Tigers prospect Kody Clemens

@wboor
April 15, 2020

Like all of us, Kody Clemens, the Tigers’ No. 18 prospect, is passing time until the baseball season gets underway. However, while many of us are watching TV and playing video games, the youngest son of Roger Clemens has been working out and trying to gain an advantage over his

Like all of us, Kody Clemens, the Tigers’ No. 18 prospect, is passing time until the baseball season gets underway. However, while many of us are watching TV and playing video games, the youngest son of Roger Clemens has been working out and trying to gain an advantage over his competition for a big 2020 campaign. MLB Pipeline recently caught up with Clemens to discuss his workout routine, family Wiffle ball games and his father's performance as an umpire.

MLB Pipeline: Whole family together, how’s that going so far?

Clemens: I’ve got three older brothers and my mom, my dad and my grandma is here. It’s been nice. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting bored being cooped up in a house, but we’re getting some family time in and waiting to hear what’s going to happen. Just trying to stay in shape and waiting for that phone call.

MLB Pipeline: As far as staying in shape goes, what are you able to do?

Clemens: I’m fortunate, I have a batting cage here at my house and a pitching machine. We have a little weight room here as well, so me and my brother are good to go with that. It’s also nice to have Kacy here, he’s with the Blue Jays and he’s basically my throwing partner. There are a lot of guys that don’t really have anybody to throw with. We have the facilities we need to stay in shape and keep sharpening the axe.

MLB Pipeline: How nice is it to have someone to work out with and keep you motivated so that you keep working out and don’t just watch an extra episode of something on Netflix?

Clemens: It’s super nice. We both push each other as well. We stay in that weight room and stay in the cage. We talk and know that we can get a little step up on everyone else during this time because we are fortunate to have the facilities that we have here. We’re trying to get the right amount of work in, quality over quantity because we don’t know how long it’s going to be that we are gone from baseball.

MLB Pipeline: How much time would you need to get ready if we knew when the season was starting?

Clemens: If we knew what the date was, it would probably take me somewhere from two weeks to the longest, a month. Right now my swing feels great and my arm is pretty good because we were going pretty good in Spring Training and I was getting a lot of work in on the big league side. I think it would only take me two weeks, maybe even just a week because I’ve been in the cage a lot. I haven’t really lost much since we’ve been home.

MLB Pipeline: You can only work out so much. What else have you been doing?

Clemens: We have a lake house that’s just an hour north of where we live on Lake Conroe, so on the weekends my brother and I really like to drive up there to get out of the house and do some fishing or go boating. Just do some other activities, play some golf, since some of the courses are still open just to do something more fun out of the house. It’s nice that we have that option available.

MLB Pipeline: I’d imagine everything gets fairly competitive. Who’s the best golfer? Who’s had the best luck fishing?

Clemens: Kacy, his golf game is on point right now. We’re usually pretty close, he’s probably a couple shots better than me right now, but usually we’re pretty close. He’s been putting up some 70 numbers the past few days so it’s been fun to watch that. He’s more of a fisherman than me, but I’m also more of a hunter than him. I’ve been doing a lot of fishing, but he’s probably out-fished me the past few times we’ve gone because he knows the spots better than I do. We actually went up to the lake house and played a Wiffle ball game out here in the yard and it got pretty competitive.

MLB Pipeline: Did dad get in on that?

Clemens: No. He was umpire for the game and then golfing, he goes out there. He’s pretty good, he’s like a six handicap and then my mom plays as well.

MLB Pipeline: How’s Roger as an umpire?

Clemens: He was good. There were a few favorable calls for both teams, just to make the game interesting. They were controversial, but we kind of rolled with it because it made the game a little bit more fun, but he was good. It was him and his buddy, Mike Capel, they were teammates [at the University of Texas] and he played in the big leagues with my dad as well.

MLB Pipeline: From Wiffle ball to real baseball, what do you want to accomplish in the 2020 season?

Clemens: I was assuming I was going to be going to Double-A right out of the gate. That’s sort of what I was hearing and what I was expecting. I was excited to go up there and have a great year offensively, kind of shut down on the strikeouts a little bit. I worked on that a lot in Spring Training and it was showing in those big league games. Have a little more control of the barrel, as well as I’m trying to put up a bunch of power numbers. I know a quality trait that I have is that I play second base and have the power to hit it out of the yard. Just having a good offensive year and defensively, just stay true there like I have been. Just want to have a quality year and get the call to Triple-A at some point.

MLB Pipeline: You go through your first full season last year. What did you do differently this offseason to prepare for the long haul now that you’ve had a full season under your belt?

Clemens: The main thing for me this past offseason was to gain 10 pounds of muscle. I usually play around 185, but going into Spring Training this year, I was about 200 pounds. The strength coach just talked to me and said, "We want to see you play at 200. We know you’ve got the power to hit it out, but if you have a little more muscle, it’ll be easier to hit it out.” That was kind of the main point for me. I was in the weight room a lot, which was the goal, and I was excited for the season to start, but unfortunately we got this delay.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.