DUNEDIN, Fla. – Sometimes a change of scenery is all a person needs to find the success they’ve been searching for.
Koby Clemens feels that entering the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm system may provide the change needed to spark his career.
Having an established baseball superstar for a father like Roger Clemens gave Koby an early taste of what the big leagues is all about.
“From the day I was born, I’ve been around Major League baseball, said the muscular infielder as he stood on the field at Blue Jays minor-league camp. “It’s been my dream to play in the major leagues ever since I watched my dad.”
Koby Clemens had the support of his parents to pursue anything that interested him but he only had eyes for one activity – baseball.
“They didn’t push me into baseball, it was my choice and it’s all that I ever wanted to do,” said Koby Clemens. “They would’ve been there for me no matter what I chose to do.”
Roger Clemens had a reputation for not being very receptive to the media but his son seems willing to take time and answer the tough questions. Like the time he was playing in the Caribbean Baseball Confederation with the Mayaguez Indians, one that saw Koby Clemens abandon the team and return home to Houston. As a result, Clemens was banned from international play.
“It was just a personal issue that I had to return home and attend to. I have no problems with the players, teams or league, but I’m not allowed to return there.”
His last season was spent playing with the Oklahoma City Redhawks in the Pacific Coast League as part of the Houston Astros’ farm system.
After seven seasons with various Astros affiliates, the 26-year-old was released by the team. On Feb. 9 he was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays to a minor-league contract.
Now, Clemens’s focus is entirely on playing baseball within the Blue Jays’ organization, no matter the team.
“I’m not sure which team I’ll end up with, they said that I’ll be with the Double A [New Hampshire Fisher Cats] or the Triple A [Las Vegas 51’s] so I’m just working hard to get in game shape,” said a tired Clemens, who finished practice with shuttle sprints. “Wherever I end up the team is going to get a hard worker who tries to lead by example.”
Clemens is working on all aspects of his game but feels that improving his foot speed is important, while continuing to tweak his batting as well.
“I like to think that I’m deceptively fast but improving my speed should help my defence,” said Clemens. “In the end I’m the kind of hitter that drives people in, so I always work on my batting.”
With practice completed, Clemens knows exactly how to wind down after a long, six-hour day.
“It’s hot out their I’m pretty exhausted, I’ll probably go home eat, have a power nap and then play some video games.”