Clemons makes his decision, signs with Mavs
No sense in waiting around
Rex Clemons was drawing interest from Division I and junior college programs, but the Fruita Monument High School senior wasn’t interested in waiting around for a scholarship offer.
Instead, the right-handed pitcher decided to sign Friday with Mesa State College.
“I had a lot of options at different schools,” Clemons said. “After I talked with my family and other guys playing college ball it was a lot easier decision. By going to Mesa, my family can see me play. It will be good for me.
“I talked to Taylor Hamilton, who is at Otero (Junior College) and he said baseball is different in junior college. Cody Brown is at Salt Lake Community College and will transfer. Cass Via is at Garden City Community College and will transfer. They said, if you can get into a four-year program, do.”
He was contacted by several junior colleges as well as Division I programs University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, Southern Cal and the University of Northern Colorado, he said. Southern
Cal told Clemons they liked what they saw and would keep in touch, but never made an offer.
“For me, I wanted to make the decision early,” Clemons said. “Now, I have a chance to play my senior season with no stress.
“Mesa is supreme baseball. I’m going to a team that can do something.”
Clemons was 4-3 with a 5.89 ERA last season. He had 60 strikeouts and 15 walks in 44 innings. Clemons also swung the bat well, with a .475 batting average. He had five doubles, one triple, three home runs and 22 RBI.
“We’re recruiting him as a pitcher,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “We see tremendous upside potential in him as a pitcher. If he wants to swing the bat, we’ll give him an opportunity.
“We’ll have a very large exit of senior pitchers (nine) after this year, so it will be a good opportunity to win a spot. In our assessment, he is one of the top pitchers in Colorado this year and has room to grow. He’ll be a tremendous addition. He’ll fit in nicely with our young arms.”
Clemons is following in the footsteps of his coach Ray McLennan, who played for Mesa State, and former Fruita Monument pitcher Brett Armour.
“McLennan is the man. He is one of my favorite coaches,” Clemons said. “You never hear anything negative from him. He knows the game inside and out. He’s always telling me things to tweak.”
He played last fall on the Colorado Rockies’ 18-under scout team.
“That was a great team to be on,” Clemons said. “It got me looked at, being able to travel and see coaches. That helped a lot.”
He played on a 14-under traveling team (the Outlaws) that was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the American Association of Baseball Coaches.
“I grew up with my whole family playing baseball,” Clemons said. “I was always playing catch with Grandpa. I would throw 20 strikes in a row before we’d go in to eat dinner.”