The Tigers announced that they have agreed to terms with first-round pick Max Clark. The club did not announce the signing bonus, but Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reports that it’s $7.7MM, a bit below the $8.34MM slot value for the third overall pick.
Clark, 18, is a left-handed hitting outfielder who was selected out of Franklin Community High School in Franklin, Indiana. He was a consensus top five player in the draft class, with each of Baseball America, ESPN, FanGraphs, MLB.com and Keith Law of The Athletic ranking him either fourth or fifth. In each case, the top three slots were split between Dylan Crews, Paul Skenes and Wyatt Langford, with Clark and Walker Jenkins either #4 or #5.
The Tigers selected third and saw the Pirates take Skenes first and the Nationals grab Crews second. Instead of taking the other consensus top three guy in Langford, they went for Clark, who was generally considered to be a tier below that group. But the $7.7MM bonus he received is basically equivalent to the slot value of the fourth overall pick, perhaps allowing the Tigers to use some of those savings to sign some of the other players they drafted.
The reports on Clark all consider him a well-rounded player with the potential to contribute in all facets of the game. His speed and defense get universal praise, with Clark considered to be capable of playing above-average center field defense but also having a strong enough arm to play any outfield position. His power hitting might be his biggest question mark but he’s thought to be an excellent “pure” hitter with good plate discipline and the ability to hit the balls to all fields.