I first saw Tyler Clark (Mission Viejo HS) last season in a big South Coast League game against El Toro where he faced off against Chasen Ford. In that game, Clark more than held his own at the plate against what many considered to be an all-county pitcher. Clark was selected to the second team.
Despite going only 1-for-4 on the day, Clark showed his advanced ability at the plate by having two at-bats of over 9 pitches. While pitch recognition is a strength, it's his knack for putting the ball in play, combined with plus speed, that will carry him a long way. Clark batted .485 last season as the starting right fielder for the Diablos.
Fast forward to this past weekend where Mission Viejo faced Ayala HS in a fall ball game. Clark was held in check in his first at-bat against Ayala ace, Erik Cha before grounding out. Clark would go 2-for-4 the rest of the way including a home run that cleared the RCF wall by at least 15 feet.
I spoke with a college coach about Clark as a prospect and below are his thoughts.
"He's a dude," said the Pac-12 coach. "He has a lot of power potential. His swing is on point and he really drives the hands through the ball. Defensively, he's pretty good too. Has a lot of speed and the arm strength to play any of the outfield positions. I expect him to have a big senior season."