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2023 Mets Draft profile: Kellum Clark

With their twentieth round selection in the 2023 draft, the 606th overall pick, the Mets selected Kellum Clark, an outfielder from Mississippi State University.

Kellum Clark’s father played baseball at Belhaven University, private Division III evangelical Christian university in Jackson, Mississippi, and the apple did not fall far from the tree, as Kellum grew up playing as well. He initially attended high school at Jackson Academy, a private school in Jackson, Mississippi, but transferred to Brandon High School in his native Brandon, Mississippi as an upperclassman. Considered a big-time follow by scouts and evaluators thanks to a strong arm and a loud bat, Clark had a strong commitment to Mississippi State University, a school that his grandfather, two aunts, and an uncle attended, and went undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft, going on to attend college instead.

An older freshman, turning 20 during the year, Clark had a solid season, appearing in 33 games and starting 26 in the outfield and at first base. He hit .237/.355/.495 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 14 walks to 29 strikeouts. He played for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League that summer and played in 21 games for them, hitting .191/.320/.238 with 3 doubles, 3 stolen bases, and 8 walks to 26 strikeouts. He returned to the Bulldogs for the 2022 season and appeared in 55 games, starting 52 as the team’s primary right fielder. Clark was one of the better hitters on the team, hitting .257/.369/.556 with 12 doubles, 1 triple, 14 home runs, 2 stolen bases, and 26 walks to 47 strikeouts. He returned to Wareham that summer for a second stint in the Cape and hit an improved .264/.393/.333 with 5 doubles, 2 stolen bases, and 10 walks to 20 strikeouts. The 22-year-old had a career year this past spring, appearing in 52 games for MSU and hitting .300/.395/.546 with 11 doubles, 1 triple, 11 home runs, 6 stolen bases, and 28 walks to 49 strikeouts.

A left-handed batter, Clark stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and his bat angled at 10:30. He swings with a slight leg lift and has a long-levered swing that produces easy power to all fields, regularly recording exit velocities in the 90s and occasionally reaching triple digits as well. As to how much of that power is real and how much is NCAA metal bat aided remains to be determined, as Clark struggled to elevate the ball and hit for power in both of his stints in the wood bat Cape Cod League. The left-hander has a solid understanding of the strike zone and works counts, struggling against elevated fastballs and spin.

In the outfield, his defense is limited to a corner spot, with enough arm strength to play right field. A fringe-average runner currently, he does not have explosive speed, but shows solid range in for a corner once he gets going. Clark also has experience playing first base, where he has demonstrated good footwork, soft hands, and the ability to pick balls in the dirt.