Pickering outfielder drafted by Oakland in fourth round


Published July 13, 2021 at 8:20 pm


Pickering’s Denzel Clarke posted a simple message on Twitter after learning he had been drafted by the Oakland As in Monday’s MLB Amateur draft:

“Just a kid with a dream to be great. Thank you @Athletics for getting me one step closer.”

Clarke, an outfielder with California State Northridge (CSUN) Matadors and Canada’s Junior National Team, was selected by Oakland in the fourth round, 127th overall.

He is the first baseball player to be drafted from CSUN since Trevor Casanova (13th round), Albee Weiss (23rd round) and Justin Toerner (28th round) were drafted in 2018, and the first player from the school to go in the first four rounds since pitcher Craig Baker was taken in the fourth round of the 2006 draft by the Colorado Rockies.

Clarke was previously drafted by the New York Mets in the 36th round of the 2018 Draft but opted for the college route.

The 6’4″ Clarke certainly has the genes to go far in sports. His mother, Donna Smellie, competed for Canada in the Heptathlon at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and is a former Canadian record-holder in the Long Jump.
She was inducted into the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Clarke’s uncle Kevin Smellie was a member of the 1991 Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts and cousin Gavin Smellie participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the 4x100m relay.

Clarke hit .324/.445/.570 with eight home runs, 30 runs scored, 25 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 38 games during his 2021 season at CSUN. In his career with the Matadors, Clarke hit .298/.416/.531 with 16 home runs, 67 runs scored, 53 RBIs and 32 stolen bases in 108 games.

The slot value of the 127th pick is worth $447,400, although teams can sign players for more or less than that value.

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