CLEMSON — Logan Davidson knew they were in the crowd two years ago, he knew they were watching him last season, and he knows they will be there again this year, probably more than ever.
That's the name of the game for the top prospects in all of college baseball, and in Davidson's case, arguably the best shortstop in the country.
Major League Baseball scouts are always there.
They come to observe.
They come to evaluate.
Davidson knows what to expect as 14th-ranked Clemson opens its season Friday against South Alabama with a three-game home series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tiger's switch-hitting shortstop will have the eyes of the college baseball world on him in what almost certainly will be his final season of college ball.
Davidson, named D1Baseball.com's preseason ACC Player of the Year, is likely headed to the pros after this season. The Charlotte native was projected as an early MLB Draft pick coming out of high school in 2016 before making good on his commitment to attend Clemson and suit up for his father's alma mater.
He will be eligible for the draft this summer. And scouts will be flocking to Doug Kingsmore Stadium from now until then.
"They've been watching the whole time and maybe I wasn't the center (of attention) because you've got Seth (Beer)," Davidson said, shaking off any notion that there might be extra pressure. "But the bottom line is I'm going to do what I do and we're going to do what we do as a team. I plan on playing this game for a long time, so this year's not going to define me or our team."
Indeed, Davidson's future is undeniably bright in baseball and he likely will be a first-round pick in June.
Over the summer, he played in the prestigious Cape Cod League where he put an emphasis on improving his footwork. As a taller shortstop at 6-3 and 195 pounds, Davidson knows everything begins and ends with his feet and legs, which give him more power when he makes his throws. His ability to stay low to the ground is something he will want to show scouts this season.
In the Cape Cod League, he didn't hit the way people are used to seeing him hit, with just a .196 batting average, three homers and 12 RBIs in 42 games, but with a .292 batting average in 2018, scouts know what he is capable of on both sides of the plate.
Clemson coach Monte Lee said there isn't a professional team in the league that wouldn't want Davidson's services when the time comes.
"He's a five-tool player. He can run, he's an above average runner, he's an above average defender, he's got an above average arm, he can hit, he can hit for power, he's a switch hitter and he just so happens to be a young man who's going to graduate in three years," Lee said. "He's a high-makeup, high-character kid who does everything the right way.
"If everything goes as planned, this will probably be his last year here with us and deservedly so."
In addition to his baseball skills, Davidson has mastered the abilities to manage pressure and ignore distractions. He's shown he understands the mental aspects of the game.
This year should be no exception for one of the best players to come through Clemson in Lee's tenure.
"He's a tremendous leader," Lee continued. "His parents have done an unbelievable job of raising him. Again, he's just the total package in that regard in terms of what he's been able to do in 2.5 years here at Clemson."
• The Tigers announced their weekend rotation will consist of senior righty Brooks Crawford, freshman righty Davis Sharpe and freshman lefty Justin Wrobleski.
2018 RECORD: 47-16, 22-8 ACC (1st in ACC)
COACH: Monte Lee, 133-57 in three seasons
TOP PLAYERS: SS Logan Davidson (.292, 15 HR, 46 RBI); C Kyle Wilkie (.324, 5 HR, 40 RBI); P Brooks Crawford (8-2, 3.24 ERA)
TOP NEWCOMERS: RHP/1B Davis Sharpe (6-3, 210), Dacula, Ga.; LHP/OF Justin Wrobleski (6-1, 190), Canton, Ga.
15 – South Alabama, 4 p.m.; 16 – South Alabama, 3 p.m.; 17 – South Alabama, 1 p.m.; 19 – Charlotte, 4 p.m.; 20 – Tennessee Tech, 4 p.m.; 22 – Virginia Military, 4 p.m; 23 – Virginia Military, 3 p.m.; 24 – Virginia Military, 1 p.m.; 26 – East Tennessee State, 4 p.m.
1 – South Carolina, 6 p.m.; 2 – South Carolina at Flour Field (Greenville), 1 p.m.; 3 – at South Carolina, 1 p.m.; 5 – at Furman, 6 p.m.; 8 – North Carolina, 6 p.m.; 9 – North Carolina, 3 p.m.; 10 – North Carolina, 1 p.m.; 13 – Coastal Carolina, 6 p.m.; 15 – Notre Dame, 6 p.m.; 16 – Notre Dame, 3 p.m.; 17 - Notre Dame, 1 p.m.; 19 – College of Charleston, 6 p.m.; 20 - College of Charleston (Columbia, S.C. neutral site), 6 p.m.; 22 – at Boston College, 4 p.m.; 23 – at Boston College, 2 p.m.; 24 – at Boston College, 1 p.m.; 26 – at Charlotte, 7 p.m.; 29 – at Virginia Tech, 6 p.m.; 30 – at Virginia Tech, 3 p.m.; 31 – at Virginia Tech, 1 p.m.
2 – Georgia, 6 p.m.; 5 – Louisville, 6 p.m.; 6 – Louisville, 5 p.m.; 7 – Louisville, noon; 9 – Charleston Southern, 6 p.m.; 10 – Furman, 6 p.m.; 12 – at Florida State, 6 p.m.; 13 – at Florida State, 6 p.m.; 14 – at Florida State, 1 p.m.; 16 – at Georgia, 7 p.m.; 19 – Duke, 6 p.m.; 20 – Duke, 3 p.m.; 21 – Duke, 1 p.m.; 23 – Winthrop, 6 p.m.; 26 – at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m.; 27 – at Georgia Tech, 4 p.m.; 28 – at Georgia Tech, 1 p.m.;
4 – Gardner Webb, 3 p.m.; 5 – at Gardner Webb, 2 p.m.; 8 – The Citadel, 6 p.m.; 10 – at N.C. State, 6:30 p.m.; 11 – at N.C. State, 6:30 p.m.; 12 – at N.C. State, 1 p.m.; 14 – at Coastal Carolina, 6 p.m.; 16 – Wake Forest, 6 p.m.; 17 – Wake Forest, 6 p.m.; 18 – Wake Forest, 12:30 p.m.