Although many expected the Detroit Tigers to walk away with one of the elite college bats in the 2023 MLB draft, Scott Harris and Co. went with Franklin Community High School outfielder Max Clark at No. 3 overall.
For those who don’t know the name, Clark has been somewhat of a sensation on the high school baseball scene over the past few years. He’s widely considered the top prep player in his class, and he certainly has the most Instagram followers of any baseball prospect in the draft pool.
Social media accolades aside, Clark got famous for his talent on the field. He was the 2023 National Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year, has a plus bat and glove and 70-grade speed that will keep him in center field for a long time. Power is the one question mark, but he should still be able to knock 20 balls out of the park each year, based on projections.
At the high school level, he batted .551 with 21 career homers over 82 games. As a senior, Clark batted an insane .646 with 20 extra-base hits. Obviously, Indiana high school ball doesn’t translate to the pros, but Clark is as projectable as players at his level get.
As with all high school draft picks, it will take a few years to tell whether Detroit made the right decision or not. Forgoing the remaining elite college player on the board, Florida’s Wyatt Langford, means an even longer rebuild than Tigers fans were hoping for, but in Scott Harris we trust... right?
Clark and Langford are on completely different timelines, though, and the newest Tiger has been described as the face of the next generation. He plays the loud, new style of baseball that makes fans stuck in the past uncomfortable and he understands what it means to be a superstar, beyond doing your job on the field.
Clark regularly stays and signs autographs for his many, many fans. In fact, coaches or stadium security will often shut down the impromptu meet-and-greets that come up wherever he is.
Detroit will save a bit of money with Clark. He’s expected to sign an under-slot deal at $7,698,000, according to the Detroit Free Press.