Crew's deal with top pick Clark '99 percent' done
Milwaukee awaiting medical tests on center fielder, who was drafted out of HS
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers on Thursday were putting the finishing touches on an agreement with first-round Draft pick Trent Clark that a baseball source said would pay the outfielder a signing bonus slightly above Major League Baseball's slot value of $2,692,700 for the 15th overall pick.
Clark, a left-handed-hitting center fielder from Richland (Texas) High School, was the first of 41 Brewers' Draft picks this week. He will undergo a physical exam in Milwaukee before the deal is official, which could happen early next week. The Brewers have yet to formally announce any signings from the three-day Draft.
"I would say we're 99 percent of the way there," Brewers amateur scouting director Ray Montgomery said. "With respect to the medical process and all that, you never want to comment until that is behind you."
Another source said the deal was in the "crossing 'T's and dotting 'I's" stage.
Clark was ranked as the 12th-best prospect in the Draft by MLB.com. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin referred to him as a "real professional hitter," high praise for an 18-year-old who just graduated high school.
"That's kind of indicative of how we see Trent," Montgomery said. "I think what you'll see when he comes out here is his game is tailored for the pro game. His swing, his approach. He's a prodigal hitter, and I think those are the ones who can really have success."
Clark was one of two high schoolers from North Texas to be drafted by the Brewers within the first three rounds. No. 90 overall pick Nash Walters, a right-hander from Lindale High, east of Dallas, was also under the watch of Brewers area scout KJ Hendricks.
Walters has already signed his contract. Barring a last-minute snag, Clark will follow suit.
"He has a special, uncanny ability to get the barrel on the baseball," Hendricks said of Clark. "He has as good of hands to hit as anybody I've ever seen his age, whether it was when I was playing in the Minor Leagues or coaching in college or scouting these last couple of years. I'm looking back in my mental database of all the 17-, 18-, 19-year-olds I've played with or against or coached, and this kid has a unique ability to manipulate the bat head and find the sweet spot."