With their first round selection in the 2015 draft, number 15 overall, the Milwaukee Brewers have selected outfielder Trenton Clark, a 6'0", 200 pound high schooler out of Texas.
The Brewers reportedly had considered Clark to be the best 'pure bat' as far as prep players go, and that no doubt seems to be his best tool. That's high-praise considering he is seen as someone who is very 'toolsy' in general. However, as with many prep players, he is also seen as a high-risk, high-reward type player.
In 21 games this year for Richland High School, Clark has hit .518/.697/.767 with one homer and nine stolen bases.
Though he has good enough speed to play center field and will almost certainly be looked at there first, it seems more likely he profiles as a corner outfielder as he approaches the majors. His arm isn't highly-regarded and, if he sticks with the Brewers, other guys like Tyrone Taylor will have first dibs on the center field role.
Many reports say Clark has very good instincts for the game, but he seems to have an unusual swing without a ton of bat speed that somehow still works for him and generates decent pop. He has gotten good reviews for his baseball IQ and making smart decisions stealing bases which, along with very good speed, could make him a very dangerous player on the base paths.
Clark, 18, is one of the top high school outfielders in this year's class, along with Kyle Tucker, Daz Cameron and Garrett Whitley and is looking to become the first major-leaguer out of Richland High. He hit .518 with .697 on-base percentage and one home run in 23 games as a senior, and shined for Team USA at the 18U Pan-American Championship, hitting .565 with three home runs in eight games. Clark is committed to Texas Tech, though is expected to go pro due to his high draft selection.
It's worth noting that I've seen mixed reviews on both his arm and his speed. He should be at least above-average in the latter while there has been a wider range of opinions on the former. Still, most reports note that many see him as a future left-fielder, perhaps in the mold of the Marlins' Christian Yelich. That is, a high on-base guy with OK power and the ability to steal a fair amount of bases.
Here's what Baseball America had to say about Clark after the Brewers selection:
Clark's batting grip is a little unorthodox. He eschews batting gloves and he holds his thumbs on the bat like he's gripping a golf club. It has always worked for him and few who have seen him doubt his ability to hit. One evaluator called him the best high school bat to come out of Texas in the past five years. He's battled blisters and ankle problems but has still managed to impress this spring, thanks to excellent bat speed and a long track record of performing both on the showcase circuit and internationally. Clark has 70 speed on the 20-to-80 scouting scale at his best, and unlike most of the rest of top of the prep outfield class, Clark should remain in center field for the long-term. He gets good jumps to go with his excellent speed and he has plenty of arm for center. He's already pretty well filled out physically. He projects as an above-average hitter with future average power. He has an excellent batting eye that allows him to draw walks. He could profile as a top-of-the-order table setter who can get on base and steal, but he has enough pop to end up in the middle of the lineup. Clark has impressed for years with his feel for the game, his leadership qualities and his knack for performing on the biggest stages. He's committed to Texas Tech.
This is the first time the Brewers have taken a hitter with their first pick since 2012, though they used early picks on high schoolers Monte Harrison, Jake Gatewood and Troy Stokes last year along with college third baseman Dustin DeMuth. That 2012 draft saw them use their first three picks on Clint Coulter, Victor Roache and Mitch Haniger, all position-players.
The recommended slot value for the 15th overall pick is $2,692,700.