Philip Andrew Clarke...Went to high school at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, TN...Led the Lions to multiple district, sectional, and regional championships and a state championship...Ranked 166 on Baseball America’s Top 500 coming out of high school...Attended Vanderbilt University...Batted .303 with eight home runs and 68 RBI in 64 games as he helped the Commodores to a College World Series title in 2019...Batted a team-best .360 (9-for-25) in six games...Named American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Third-Team All-American and was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Conference Team...Golfs in his spare time.
Spent the season training at The Bledsoe Agency with his teammate at the time, Ryan Noda... Lived with teammate Austin Martin.
Drafted by the Blue Jays in June of 2019 and was assigned to Class-A (short) Vancouver to begin his professional career...Hit .257 with a .359 on-base percentage in 37 games...Threw out nine of 38 stolen base attempts (23.7%)…Named a Northwest League Mid-Season All-Star.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45 | Overall: 45
Clarke had more offensive upside than most of the high school catchers in the 2017 Draft, but the Nashville product resisted seven-figure overtures from big league clubs in order to stay home and attend Vanderbilt. He still is known more for his bat, though he has gotten better behind the plate this spring after spending most of his freshman season at DH. Whether he'll be signable this time around as a sophomore-eligible remains to be seen.
Clarke stands out as a lefty-hitting catcher with the ability to handle the bat. He regularly puts the barrel on the ball, uses the entire field and manages the strike zone well. He has more strength than bat speed and possesses solid raw power, though he's more concerned with making quality contact than swinging for the fences.
If Clarke can continue to improve his defense, he has a chance to become a big league regular. He looks quicker and more agile than he did in high school, though his receiving skills are fringy and need more work. He has similar arm strength but his quick release helps him keep the running game in check.