Denzel Clarke has become one of the fastest risers in the Oakland A’s system this year.
Clarke had initially been regarded as a toolsy, albeit raw, outfielder for the A’s. He had initially begun the year as the 17th ranked prospect in their system, someone with a high ceiling, but also the potential to flame out if he was unable to put everything together.
Denzel Clarke’s impressive season moving him up Oakland A’s board
While Clarke still has a long way to go before reaching the majors, he has taken a major step forward this season. He has posted a .262/.371/.500 batting line in his 340 plate appearances between A-Ball and High-A, hitting 14 homers and 22 doubles while stealing 23 bases. He has spent time at all three spots in the outfield, where his speed and strong arm have made him a viable option regardless of his spot on the grass.
That success has been noticed. Clarke was one of two representatives for the A’s in the MLB All Star Futures game, joining Shea Langeliers as part of the exhibition. He has also moved up the A’s top prospect rankings, as MLB.com now has him as the 11th best prospect in the organization, a jump of six spots from the preseason.
His jump up the rankings is all the more impressive considering that the A’s trades and 2022 MLB Draft picks are also included. Ken Waldichuk, who was acquired as part of the Frankie Montas trade, is considered the A’s third best prospect. Daniel Susac and Henry Bolte, the A’s top two draft picks, are ranked fifth and sixth respectively. If not for those players, Clarke would have been one of the A’s top ten prospects.
It is possible that happens before the start of the 2023 campaign anyway. He has started to find his groove in Lansing, and as he continues to produce, that ranking will only improve. Clarke may well prove that he can become the player that the A’s had been hoping for.
Denzel Clarke has generated plenty of attention this season. He may well continue to rocket up the Oakland A’s prospect rankings.