CLEMSON — Sophomore slugger Logan Davidson had a dynamic freshman season as he was named a first-team freshman All-American by Baseball America and an All-ACC- Freshman.
Davidson hit .286 with 56 runs, nine doubles, 12 home runs, 41 RBIs and a .338 on-base percentage. He finished the 2017 season ranked seventh in the ACC in walks, led the Tigers in at-bats, became the first Tiger shortstop to lead the team in doubles since 2007 and amassed 20 multihit games.
But the scary thing for opposing teams this season is there is not one Davidson but two on the Tiger roster.
Davidson’s father Mark, who amassed eight home runs, 50 RBIs, 58 runs and 18 steals in one season with Clemson (1982), has returned and is serving as a student assistant coach for the Tigers while finishing up his degree.
For Davidson, having his father join the Tiger coaching staff brings back memories of his youth.
“It’s been a blessing to have him here,” Davidson said. “He’s been here since last fall, but having him here is the same thing as when I was growing up. He taught me how to hit. He taught me how to play the game the right way. I mean, it’s great having him here.”
While the Tigers have added another Davidson, the one that will actually be on the field believes this season could be a special one for the Tigers — especially offensively.
The Tigers return 42 home runs from a year ago in the bats of Davidson, junior Seth Beer and senior Chris Williams — meaning there is a lot of excitement about this teams “damage potential.”
“Super excited. I mean, we lost a few guys — we got a lot of guys coming in that are really good,” Davidson said. “We got a lot of guys in the lineup with damage potential and we’re very excited about it.
“We’ve got a lot of potential. For us, it’s going to be getting guys on base and then relying on everyone in the lineup to take part in the lineup and kind of do damage. I think we’ve got a lot of guys that can do that. So, get guys on before us and let us drive the ball — just do what we do.”
Not one doubts the Tigers' ability to hit the long ball with Davidson, but the one area that was a concern last season was his play at shortstop.
Last year, Davidson finished with a 91.3 fielding percentage and 22 errors, 14 more than the next closest Tiger (Grayson Byrd with 8) in 63 games (63 starts).
But Davidson believes that he has solved the issues that plagued him last season.
“I’ve been grinding hard in the cages, been working a lot on the backfield with ground balls and now the weather is nice getting some ground balls out here, playing on the actual dirt. I’ve just been working on my game all-around to be honest.
“For me it was throwing more so than fielding — I trust my hands. I pitched in high school, so I have a high arm slot and I dropped that down this fall and it’s helped a lot.”
Davidson is using his experience from last year to help lead the younger Tigers.
“I think on the infield, we have some younger guys on the infield, so I have taken on a leadership role there and kind of teaching them what I learned last year. Kind of the struggles I went through and helping them to not go through those struggles — that’s kind of one of the main things that I took on last fall and this spring.”