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2018 Mets draft profile: Denzel Clarke

With their thirty-sixth selection in the 2018 draft, the Mets selected Denzel Clarke, an outfielder from Canada.

Name: Denzel Clarke

Born: Pickering, Ontario, Canada

Age: 18 (5/01/00)

Height/Weight: 6’3”/190 lbs.

Position: OF

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: Everest Academy High School (Thornhill, Ontario, Canada)

Denzel Clarke comes from an athletic family. His mother, Donna Smellie-Clarke, is a former Olympian, a heptathlete who participated in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. His uncle, Kevin Smellie, was a running back for the Candian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. His cousins are Josh and Noah Naylor, first-round picks for the Miami Marlins and Cleveland Indians in 2015 and 2018, respectively. As a member of the 2017 and 2017 Canadian Junior National Team, Clarke has played against high-level competition, including other national teams, Dominican Summer League teams, Fall Instructional League teams, and spring training/extended spring training teams.

Currently, Clarke is an above-average center fielder. He has great range because of his plus speed and has excellent instincts. If, in the future, he is forced into a corner outfield spot, he has a strong arm that gets plenty of carry. Clarke recently underwent a growth spurt, and at 6’3” 190-pounds, may continue growing, possibly slowing him down. He is athletic enough and has a lean enough frame that moving off the position despite adding muscle and mass is not a guarantee.

The increased strength that his most recent growth spurt has bestowed upon him has really been evident at the plate. In exhibition games played this spring, the ball has really been jumping off the bat, with much louder contact than in the past. The fastest exit velocity that he has been tracked hitting is 92 MPH. At the plate, he utilizes a leg kick to load, gets his hands set early, and swings with an upward bat path, finishing off with two hands. There is still a lot of rawness in his bat, and he has some timing issues with his swing, but his bat speed should allow him to develop into a solid hitter once he starts refining it.

Clarke has a commitment to Cal State Northridge.