Inside the Article:
When Scott Harris was on the clock in the MLB Draft for the first time as president of baseball operations of the Detroit Tigers, there was no question about it that he would select the best college hitter available. Until he didn't. Instead, Harris shocked the baseball world by selecting high school outfielder, Max Clark, a player that some say is as close to a five-tool prospect as was in this draft class.
Everything Scott Harris said about Detroit Tigers OF Max Clark
While speaking to reporters, it was pretty clear that Harris got his guy with the No. 3 pick, even if he was facing high school pitchers this past season.
Harris believes Clark is a five-tool player
“Max is an elite talent,” Harris said. “He was the best player on our board at that pick and we are thrilled that he got to our pick. We think Max is a five-tool player. I think that label gets thrown around way too much in our industry. We think Max has all five. It's really hard to find a potential impact center fielder who can change the game.”
The Tigers believe in Clark's hit tool
“We believe in Max's hit tool,” Harris said. “We think he's going to make a lot of contact as soon as he gets into our system. … He's going to get bigger and stronger. He's going to get more self-aware about the pitches that he can really drive to the pull side versus the pitches that he can just shoot back up the middle.”
Harris is not worried about taking a high school hitter
“We talked about it ad nauseam,” Harris said. “But I think it's important for everyone to remember some of the most talented players in our entire organization were high school draft (picks). Some of those guys have moved quickly. Perhaps not quickly enough for some of our fans. But you can get elite talent from college and high school in the draft. And in this situation, with Max available at our pick, he was the clear pick for us.”
- Harris surprised the baseball world by selecting Clark in the MLB Draft, deviating from the expectation of choosing a college hitter.
- Harris considers Clark to be a five-tool player, praising his elite talent and highlighting his potential as an impact center fielder who can change the game.
- The Tigers have confidence in Clark's hit tool and believe he will make a significant contact upon entering their system, expecting him to improve as he becomes more self-aware of pitch selection.
- Despite concerns about taking a high school hitter, Harris emphasizes that elite talent can come from both college and high school drafts, and Max Clark was the clear choice for the Tigers at their pick.
- Max Clark has the highest upside in this draft class, and if he works hard and progresses quickly through the organization, it will validate Scott Harris' decision and showcase his astuteness.
Bottom Line: High Upside
Say what you want about the Tigers passing on an elite college bat in favor of a high school prospect, but you cannot say that Max Clark does not have the highest upside of any player in this draft class. Clark has an opportunity to work his tail off and ascend quickly through the organization, and if he does, he will make Scott Harris look pretty darn smart.