OF Denzel Clarke, 36th round (1,070th overall) - New York Mets
With their 36th round (1,070th overall) pick, the New York Mets have selected OF Denzel Clarke.
Hometown: Pickering, Ont.
Height/Weight: 6’ 4” 190 lbs.
College Commitment: Cal State Northridge
Teams: Toronto Mets, Canadian Junior National Team
Coaches: Chris Kemlo, Greg Hamilton
Past Teams: Oshawa, Ajax/Pickering Cubs, Rawlings National Scout Team, Yankees Scout Team
Past coaches: Ken Babcock, John Haywood, Hyung Cho, Ray Fagnant (Boston Red Sox), Dennis Sheehan (Arizona Diamondbacks).
Most influential person in my baseball life, besides my mother Donna Clarke: “My uncle, Kevin Smellie. (running back 1991 Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts).”
The Good Genes: Mom competed as Donna Smellie in women’s heptathlon (100-metre hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-metre race, long jump, javelin throw and 800-metre) at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles finishing 17th in the world at age 19. Her career saw her win Canadian Junior heptathlon, national senior heptathlon champ four times and Donna was a Canadian record-holder in the long jump event. Donna competed in the Commonwealth Games and won gold at the Francophone Games. Clarke is a past winner of the Harry Jerome athlete of the year award. After starting as a gymnast, Donna joined the Mississauga Track and Field Club. Was inducted into Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 ... Donna and Jenice Naylor, mother of Josh and Noah Naylor, are cousins.
Twitter Handle: @dc5_denzy
Clarke has a very long 6-foot-4, 190-pound build that looks like it would be just as at home on a basketball court as it is on baseball field, with long arms and legs and lots of physical projection. He’s more polished on defense now than offense, with plus speed and range in the outfield to go with a strong throwing arm. Clarke’s body can create some length in his righthanded swing but he sees the ball well and has quick hands and has shown his power potential against high-level pitching. Clarke has been well exposed to scouts this spring while playing for the Canadian National Junior team and was seen frequently last summer as well, so him being a young projectable player from Canada shouldn’t stand in his way at draft time.
2018 season: Dominican Summer League trip with Junior National Team (JNT): Single facing DSL Dodgers ... Doubled against DSL Blue Jays ... Singled facing DSL Mets ... Singled facing DSL Tigers ... Extended Spring with Junior National Team (JNT): Singled facing the Astros ... Singled against Nationals ... Two hits in intra-squad game, including a double ... Two hits, including a double, with an RBI against the Twins ... Batted .240 with two doubles and an RBI ... Spring with JNT: Singled against first and second year Blue Jays ... Run-scoring single against the Phillies ... Run-scoring single in intra-squad game ... Singled against the Phillies ... Had two hits against the Blue Jays at Dunedin: run-scoring triple off Orlando Pascual, who was at class-A Vancouver last year and a single off LHP Brayden Bouchey, a 33rd rounder from Louisiana-Monroe, who pitched at Vancouver last year ... Batted .182 (5-for-26) with three walks, .545 OPS, eight strikeouts ... At Toronto Mets workout in Scarborough: Best player. At Athlete Matrix workout: Second best player in building.
2017 season: World Wood Bat in Jupiter: Base hit, RBI, two stolen bases against East Cobb Astros ... Doubled and stole a base against the Dirtbags ... Hit .231 with a double, an RBI, three steals and an .683 OPS ... World 18U with JNT at Thunder Bay: Hit .240 with three RBIs, .712 OPS, with 10 walks and 10 strikeouts ... Selection camp: 1-for-20 (.053) four walks, six strikeouts ... Extended Spring with JNT: Two hits against the Braves ... Knocked in two runs hitting .214 (6-for-28) with .679 OPS ... Spring with JNT: Doubled and drove in three runs against the Tigers ... Was 2-for-10 (.200) with a double and three RBIs.
2017 Honours: Top defensive player at the U18 World Championships in Thunder Bay ... Perfect Games Pre-season Underclassmen All American Honorable Mention.