School: Duke Univeristy; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-5; Weight: 210
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: Following in the footsteps of fellow right-handers Marcus Stroman and Michael Matuella, Clark is just the latest hard-throwing hurler to surface at Duke University. After making just six appearances during his freshman season, all of which were of the relief variety, the 6-foot-5, 210-pounder had a coming out party during his sophomore campaign: he threw 58.0 innings with a 49-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio to go along with a 2.95 ERA.
And he continued his favorable production into the Cape Cod Summer League, throwing 16 innings for the Wareham Gatemen with 11 punch outs and five walks.
This season, though, Clark’s been plagued by some terrible luck as evidenced by his unsightly 5.61 ERA. But the big hurler has averaged a career best 9.71 strikeouts per nine innings, though his walk rate has upticked just slightly to 3.94 BB/9.
Projection: I’m not entirely sold on Clark for several reasons: (A) he’s three years into his collegiate career and has just totaled a little over 120 innings, (B) he hasn’t been particularly dominant at any point, (C) his control is…wavering, and (D) he’s been plagued by the long ball this season, surrendering five dingers in just under 59.1 innings of work.
Now, Clarke does have some upside: he’s missed some bats and at various points in his career he’s shown solid-average control; it’s just not consistent. Plus, he’s made appearances for Team USA and has two stints in the Cape.
He’s very similar to former Alabama hurler – and current Brewers starting pitcher – Jimmy Nelson. Consider the following comparison:
Ceiling: 1.0- to 1.5-win player
Floor: 0.5-win player
Grade: Third Round