The Oakland A’s have been active on the waiver wire all season. That continued on Friday with Ernie Clement.
He was part of another flurry of moves. The A’s claimed Clement off waivers from the Guardians, recalled Sam Selman from Triple-A, and placed Joel Payamps on the Injured List as part of a busy Friday afternoon.
Oakland A’s giving Ernie Clement a chance at a new beginning
Clement had originally been a fourth round selection for the Guardians in the 2017 MLB Draft. While he was never a top prospect, he had been a fixture towards the back of Cleveland’s top 30 prospect lists. His impressive contact skills, ability to work a count, and respectable speed made him an intriguing player to watch.
He was never able to find success during his time in the majors. It did not help that Clement rode the highway back and forth to Triple-A, never quite settling in with the Guardians. At the same time, he posted a meager .214/.273/.274 batting line in his 294 plate appearances, hitting three homers and seven doubles. While his contact rate remains solid as he has struck out just 43 times, he has drawn only 18 walks and has not hit for any power whatsoever.
The other issue is that any contact Clement has made has been soft. He has a career 83.9 MPH average exit velocity, over four MPH below league average. His 24.8% hard hit rate is also extremely subpar as the league average is 38.8%.
Even with those issues, Clement is worth a look. His ability to make contact and defensive flexibility fit the A’s model. It is just a matter of getting Clement to make harder contact to have his skills truly come to the forefront.
The Oakland A’s have added another piece from the waiver wire. Ernie Clement is the latest formerly well regarded minor leaguer to head to Oakland.