Well, it appears my dream of getting Phil “The Hitman” Clarke back for his junior year has taken a serious hit, as the draft eligible sophomore was taken in the 9th round (pick # 267) by the Toronto Blue Jays.
In the recent era of the draft, nearly everyone taken in the first 10 rounds signs with the team that drafted them. Of course, Clarke—as a draft eligible sophomore—has more leverage that most. You have to assume Toronto knew all that, knew his number, and baked it all into the cake.
The Hitman was great both at the plate and behind it this year, and has a real shot of making it to the bigs. He hit in the cleanup spot in the order and slashed .306/.387/.479 with 13 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, and 65 RBI. Behind the plate, he gunned down 11 of 35 would be base stealers (31%), was aggressive on back picks to first, and did a much better job of pitch framing and blocking balls in the dirt this year. To make the bigs, he will have to work on his pop times (he often threw to 2nd from his knees), calling games, and stealing strikes on the corners. His bat is pretty much ready.
If he signs, Corbs will have to hope Ty Duvall returns next year, or the catching position will be in flux.