Home News Max Clark drafted No. 3 by Tigers in 2023 MLB Draft

Max Clark drafted No. 3 by Tigers in 2023 MLB Draft

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Max Clark drafted No. 3 by Tigers in 2023 MLB Draft

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18 minutes ago

DETROIT — The Tigers’ first MLB Draft under president of baseball operations Scott Harris resulted in the first big swing — and first surprise — of this year’s Draft. Detroit defied widespread projections of a college bat and selected a high school outfielder, Max Clark of Franklin (Ind.) Community High School, with the third overall pick.

The Tigers were projected to land either LSU outfielder Dylan Crews or University of Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford, and they were expected by many to favor a college hitter for a faster timeline to the Majors in order to help a Detroit team in need of offense. Once Crews went second overall to the Nationals, the Tigers bypassed Langford in favor of the younger, more toolsy Clark, a left-handed-hitting center fielder whose combination of speed, pure hitting, batting eye, strong defense and arm fit the athletic profile of a Comerica Park outfielder and, ultimately, the profile of player the Tigers want to add to their organization.

Clark was recently named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. He was the No. 5 prospect on MLB Pipeline’s Draft rankings.

Clark told Akeem Glaspie of the Indianapolis Star that he expects to sign with the Tigers for the slot value of the No. 4 overall selection, which is worth $7,698,000. The slot value for Detroit’s No. 3 pick is $8,341,000. That would leave the Tigers with $643,000 in their bonus pool for later picks.

The Tigers used their Competitive Balance Round pick to select shortstop Kevin McGonigle from Monsignor Bonner HS (Pa.) at No. 37. They then selected second baseman Max Anderson from the University of Nebraska at No. 45 with their second-round pick.

The Tigers have $15,747,200 in their Draft pool this year. Only the Pirates, who had the first overall pick, have more — and only by $438,500.

Clark worked out for the Tigers last month at Comerica Park and made an impression. The three-time Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year hit .646 as a senior with an .808 on-base percentage, drawing 52 walks in 28 games. He hit six home runs and stole 35 bases to go along with 33 RBIs and 45 runs scored. After his junior season, he helped Team USA win a gold medal at the U-18 Baseball World Cup with a clutch home run against Canada and a three-hit performance in the final against Chinese Taipei.

While Clark could take more time to progress through the Minor Leagues than a college hitter, the Tigers watched the last high school outfielder they drafted in the first round, Riley Greene, reach Detroit in three years. That timetable would’ve been shorter if not for a broken right foot that cost him a spot on last year’s Opening Day roster and delayed his Major League debut until late June. Depending on Clark’s timetable and development, he could potentially push Greene into an outfield corner.

Though the pick defied expectations, it arguably fit the profile of Tigers amateur scouting director Mark Conner, who selected several high schoolers as first-round picks while running the Padres’ drafts as their scouting director from 2014-21. MacKenzie Gore went third overall to San Diego in ‘17, Ryan Weathers went seventh in ‘18, CJ Abrams went sixth in ‘19, and Robert Hassell III went eighth in ‘20.



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