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Clemson 2023 MLB draft picks: Where are they now?

Matthew Mynes
Shortstop Benjamin Blackwell slides to base in the Tigers dominant series sweep over Binghamton last February; he now plays for the Frisco RoughRiders.

With less than a month left before the start of Clemson baseball’s regular season, here is a peek into what some former Tigers have been up to in the minor leagues since the 2023 MLB draft last July.

Caden Grice, Pitcher, 1B | Arizona Diamondbacks

Grice was drafted as the No. 64 overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks and was the highest-drafted pitcher for the Tigers since 2007. Grice is actively on the ACL D-backs Red roster, a rookie affiliate team.

Grice finished his final season as a Tiger with a .307 batting average, 18 home runs and an ERA of 3.35 in 2023. Grice is a decorated player with honors, including the John Olerud Two-Way Player-of-the-Year, 2023 Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, ACC tournament MVP, first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and many more.

According to scouting reports comparing him to Twins’ player Joey Gallo, being a star both on the mound and at the plate, Grice has shown promise. Scouts claim Grice may be better off focusing on pitching with his 95 mph fastball, but his slugging skills are phenomenal, with a 618 slugging percentage during his time as a Tiger. Grice is currently listed as number 118 on the current top prospect rankings by the MLB and is estimated to enter the major leagues in 2026.

Cooper Ingle, Catcher | Cleveland Guardians

Ingle was drafted in the fourth round by the Cleveland Guardians and assigned to the Lake County Captains, a High-A affiliate team, roster in August 2023. Ingle made his minor league debut on Aug. 9, going 2-for-2. Ingle has a minor league batting average of .288, 15 hits and 10 RBIs in 17 games.

Ingle was a dominant player throughout his career as a Tiger, primarily known for his consistency at the plate, with a batting average of .328, 84 hits and an on-base percentage of .417 during the 2022-2023 season. Most notably, Ingle had a 51-game on-base streak. Ingle was awarded the team’s defensive MVP award and was a third-team All-ACC selection in his time at Clemson.

Ingle has been reported by scouts as more of a memorable hitter despite his potential as a catcher. Scouts called Ingle “quicker and more athletic than most catchers,” which explains his above-average on-base percentage. Ingle is projected to continue his minor league career with the Guardians’ Lake County Captains this season.

Ryan Ammons, Pitcher | New York Mets

Ammons was Clemson’s co-captain in the 2022-2023 season with a 4.05 ERA. He was a forceful pitcher with a season-high 10 strikeouts against the UCF Knights. Ammons was the player to seal the deal on the Tigers’ 2023 ACC Championship title with four strikeouts in the final two innings.

The lefty was drafted in the 10th round by the Boston Red Sox. He was placed on the 60-day injured list due to a forearm injury but was reactivated on Nov. 6. However, on Dec. 6, Ammons was traded to the New York Mets for Justin Slaten, a round 3 pick by the Texas Rangers. Despite his injury, Ammons is expected to play in the upcoming minor league season.

Benjamin Blackwell, Shortstop | Texas Rangers

Blackwell was a transfer from Dayton University who spent both seasons with the Clemson Tigers as the starting shortstop. Blackwell was known for his speed, with 27 stolen bases in the 2022-2023 season, the most in the ACC. Blackwell only committed three errors in his 59 regular-season games as a Tiger.

As for his minor-league career, Blackwell was signed as a free agent by the World Series-champion Texas Rangers and assigned to the Hickory Crawdads in August 2023 before quickly being reassigned to the Frisco RoughRiders in September. Blackwell finished his first minor-league season with a .272 batting average and 11 RBIs. Currently playing as a Double-A affiliate, Blackwell has the potential to be a strong performer in the upcoming season.

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Lilly Wallace, Senior Reporter
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