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Former Legionaire Denzel Clarke taken in MLB draft

By Bruce Froude, 07/13/21, 10:00AM EDT


Former Oshawa Legionaire Denzel Clarke is all smiles today after being drafted by the Oakland Athletics Monday night.

Clarke, who played on teams coached by Baseball Oshawa President Ken Babcock, is currently a junior at California State University at Northridge, was drafted Monday on the second day of the MLB draft. The CSUN Matadors all-star outfielder was taken in the 4th round, 147th overall. He had been picked by the New York Mets in the 36th round of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

In a tweet last night, Clarke thanked the A's for selecting him.

 'Just a kid with a dream to be great. Thank you, @Athletics for getting me one step closer. Back to hunting...'

Former Baseball Oshawa Legioniare MLB draft pick Chris Kemlo also jumped in with his congratulations. He noted that there is more to this young man than his baseball skills.

"When I hear @DC5_Denzy name mentioned, it's character, makeup, desire, passion and straight up legit human being,' wrote Kemlo. 'Happy for you, well deserved.'

The 6-foot-5, 220- pound Pickering native started 38 games in centre field, finishing with a  .324 batting average, a career-high 46 hits, 30 runs, 26 walks, 25 RBI, 11 doubles and eight home runs. He ranked 4th in the Big West Conference in stolen bases (15), 7th in slugging percentage (.570), eighth in home runs and on-base percentage (.445) and 9th in walks.

Clarke shared the Big West Defensive Player of the Year award this past season, becoming the first Matador in team history to win the honour. He posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 2021 and collected two outfield assists.
Clarke's outstanding junior season came off the heels of a sophomore season, where he batted .400 with three home runs and nine RBI in the shortened 2020 campaign. Over the past two years, Clarke batted .340 at the plate with 11 homers.
A career .298 hitter in three seasons at CSUN, Clarke played in 108 total games and made 99 starts. He racked up 97 hits, 67 runs, 53 RBI, 52 walks, 32 stolen bases and 16 home runs.

Congratulations, Denzel!