Jeff Clement

Dave · June 7, 2005 at 10:28 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Here’s a rundown on the Mariners first round selection Jeff Clement.

6’1, 210 lbs, bats left, throws right, catcher, University of Southern California

Tools Ratings (20-80 scale)

Hitting for Average: 50 (present), 60 (future)
Hitting for Power: 70 (present), 80 (future)
Throwing: 50 (present), 65 (future)
Fielding: 40 (present), 60 (future)
Running: 35 (present), 35 (future)


Extremely strong, powerful hitter with serious longball potential. Has a great eye and an approach at the plate. Can hit in the major leagues very soon. Improved defensively this year. Works hard. Smart kid.


Can be too selective at the plate. Isn’t extremely agile. Just average release. Not a great athlete. Doesn’t cover the entire plate as well as he could.


If all goes well, he’s a middle of the order masher, Jason Varitek with more power offensively. The comparisons to Piazza are over the top, as baseball’s never had a catcher hit like Piazza in the history of the game. He’s not considered a great defensive catcher, but most people expect him to be able to stick behind the plate. Catchers are high risk selections, but the payoff could be huge. It’s a high risk, high reward selection, but the M’s have to be hoping that Clement is fighting for the team’s starting catching job by spring of 2007.


146 Responses to “Jeff Clement”

  1. Nick on June 7th, 2005 1:41 pm

    For those of you on the local angle of things….

    The Colorado Rockies selected Everett Community College pitcher Zach Simons in the second round of today’s major league draft.

  2. Nick on June 7th, 2005 1:42 pm

    from the Everett Herald:

    Rockies pick Everett CC pitcher
    Herald staff

    The Colorado Rockies selected Everett Community College pitcher Zach Simons in the second round of today’s major league draft.

    Simons, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander from Glenns Ferry, Idaho, was the 55th player chosen.

    Simons posted a 6-0 record this spring with 1.08 earned run average.

    Last week he was named the MVP of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.

  3. colin_hesse on June 7th, 2005 1:46 pm

    Dave –

    Bottom line (if possible). On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like this pick? Obviously I’ve never seen this guy play, but I like what I’ve been reading, and a Varitek-ish left-handed power-hitting catcher has a lot to look forward to. After a couple of hours, though, what do you think? Was this the right guy for the M’s?

  4. Christopher Michael on June 7th, 2005 1:53 pm

    Well as a Kentlake alumni the only guy I remember playing/watching when I was in school who is in any major sport right now is Mike Karney from KW who plays fullback for the Saints. I always liked Kent but then I’m actually from Covington so I never spent that much time there other than driving down to KM for games and eating at Ghorms.

    Anyway… I’m always scared to see catchers drafted early since so few of them pan out but if he does I’ll be extremely happy to see that left handed power bat in the line-up.

  5. Chris on June 7th, 2005 1:54 pm

    re: #81
    40. Dodgers (for Type A Adrian Beltre) = Luke Hochevar, RHP, UTenn
    51. Dodgers (from Mariners for Beltre) = Ivan De Jesus, SS, Puerto Rico

    31. Diamondbacks (for Type A Richie Sexson) = Matthew Torra, RHP, UMass
    83. Diamondbacks (from Mariners for Sexson) = Micah Owings, RHP, Tulane

  6. Brent Overman on June 7th, 2005 1:58 pm

    Shameless alma mater plug –

    Nice seeing Scott Deal from Curtis High School go in the 4th round to the A’s. He’s committed to WAZZU, so it’ll be interesting to see if he signs. He’s incredible to watch; so effortless. He’s been ridden pretty hard this year and in years past, so hopefully, he can stay healthy…

  7. Jeremy on June 7th, 2005 2:11 pm

    Here are a couple good articles on Jeff Clement from a quick google:

    Interview with Perfect Game 2005

    Interview with Baseball America 2005

    He sounds like a smart, humble, and an all-around good guy to me. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned his high school home run record of 75 (breaking Drew Henson’s previous record!). It obviously doesn’t mean that much, but it’s a nice thing to have on your resume. He also broke USC’s freshman records for walks and home runs. Sounds like a great pick to me.

  8. Shoeless Jose on June 7th, 2005 2:35 pm

    Kent: it’s almost Tukwila

    As far as I know, about the only place in WA state devoid of Cameros and mullets would be Capital Hill and I wouldn’t even bet on that.

    No, I live on Capitol Hill and there are people with mullets driving Camaros — but they’re lesbians. I am not kidding.

  9. Evan on June 7th, 2005 2:37 pm

    I’m in up in Vancouver and I have a co-worker who specifically travels to Tukwila to shop.

  10. Kelly M on June 7th, 2005 2:42 pm

    I hereby nominate Ronald Prettyman to the All-Name team.

    BTW, have you guys ever considered adding Google/Overture links to your site so you could make a little spending money? I don’t think anyone would hold it against you since you provide such a fine service to the Ms community.

  11. Basebliman on June 7th, 2005 2:43 pm

    Looking at the tools ratings, even if Clement doesn’t improve AT ALL, he’s still way better than what we have now.

  12. colin_hesse on June 7th, 2005 2:44 pm

    If anyone listened to him interview on the radio, he sounded like a great kid with a good head on his shoulders. He was calm, clear, and might be one of those “Mariner” type of gentleman ballplayers who can actually mash.

  13. Grizz on June 7th, 2005 2:54 pm

    If the M’s start Clement at Everett, maybe the M’s should have him bunk at Dan Wilson’s house just in case Wilson’s ability to call a good game and his all-around Mariner goodness can rub off on him.

  14. Nick E on June 7th, 2005 2:55 pm

    #110 motion seconded. How would you like growing up as a male with a name like “Prettyman”.

  15. Baltimore M's Fan on June 7th, 2005 2:55 pm

    I like this pick quite a bit, especially after reading all this. A college player is always a good thing. I’m curious why I have never heard the name brought up before though. I suppose he wasn’t necessarily the 3rd best player, but he is the best player at a weak position.
    It’s kind of like taking Miguel Tejada with the 3rd pick in your fantasy draft.

  16. Colm on June 7th, 2005 3:02 pm

    RE 105. Hochevar looks covetable, but it’s not as if the M’s would have signed him with their second or third pick, due to money reasons.

    How come the M’s never get any picks for free agents that we lose? Was A-Rod really the last FA to walk out of Seattle to whom the club offered arbitration?

  17. Colm on June 7th, 2005 3:08 pm

    Re 115. I’m wondering the same thing. Not one of the prospect charts I saw had him anything like this high.

    Does anyone else suspect that the Mariners drafted Clement, not because they thought he was the best player still available, but because they are horrified by what they’ve seen from Olivo and the assortment of cadavers behind the plate this year?

    And yet… he seems to have the sort of skills – power, patience, command of the strike zone – that are supposed to be the most reliable predictors of major league success. And he’s a left-handed power hitting catcher. How come no love from the tipsters?

  18. Mike Thompson on June 7th, 2005 3:21 pm

    re: 115/117: Baseball American had Clement ranked 12th (and predicted he would go to the M’s at #3). Dave also had Clement as one of his players to watch in his draft preview. The P-I has discussed Clement for the past few days too.

  19. marc w. on June 7th, 2005 3:28 pm

    What do you think of the Anthony Varvaro pick, Dave? Nice high-risk, high-reward type thing – the first pick I’ve been excited about since Clement, largely because I don’t know a thing about the guys who went 4-11.
    At least we got someone on that Quinnipiac team that lost in the CWS 35-8…

  20. bilbo on June 7th, 2005 3:36 pm

    re: Varvaro. It has now gotten to the point where the M’s are taking pitchers who already have arm problems!

  21. Mords on June 7th, 2005 3:43 pm

    Clement’s Career College Statistics

    Hmm, no idea if this will work or not.


    2003 (Fr.) 56 .298 208 53 62 8 1 21 53 32 43 1-1

    2004 (So.) 52 .293 198 36 58 12 1 10 43 38 39 1-5

    2005(Jr.) 60 .347 216 48 75 17 0 13 50 44 41 5-6

    Career 168 .314 622 137 195 37 2 44 146 114 123 7-12

    His average has gone up from .298 freshman year to .347 now but his home runs have dropped from 21 to 10 and now back up to 13… what happened to his power?

  22. Colm on June 7th, 2005 4:05 pm

    118, thanks Mike, but that still doesn’t ease my concerns. What is it about Jeff Clement that makes him the twelfth most talented guy in the draft?

    And was the need for a catcher who merely doesn’t suck the motivation for the M’s taking him 9 spots early? I heard much more about Maybin, Tulowitzki, Zimmerman, Hochevar, Pelfrey and others projected above him. How come Maybin, who certainly looks to need a lot more seasoning, was rated consistently several spots higher?

    What I’m trying to say here is, other than his being a catcher and thus a higer risk, what’s Clement’s downside? I don’t see an obvious one, but I’m sure it exists.

  23. Steve Thornton on June 7th, 2005 4:20 pm

    “not a great athlete” — that’s fine, I’m sick of the big strong athletes who DON’T KNOW HOW TO PLAY BASEBALL.

    “too selective” — also very fine, he’s working on his batting eye, which is the most important tool he has. If he lays off balls out of the strikezone, pitchers will be forced to move into the zone, where he has the power to bash them back out again.

    Elementary, I know, but more than a couple of current M’s don’t get it.

    It could all go wrong, but I think Clement is a good pick.

    Now if only we can sign the bastard. I was stunned to find out that our last signed first-rounder was six years ago. Most of those are lost picks, not failures to sign, but still, that’s embarrassing. No wonder we’re so thin. But, then, we did get to enjoy those brilliant Colbrunn Years….

  24. Grizz on June 7th, 2005 4:25 pm

    Re 121: He was pitched around more. In any event, his number of extra base hits remained consistent.

    Re pre-draft rankings. It is a legitimate point that nobody had Clement rated this high — Baseball America and the newspaper stories were simply based on M’s sources acknowledging their interest in him as their pick, not an independent evaluation that Clement was a top five talent. Dave pegged him as a mid-first round selection in March. Some of this is the general bias against catchers: catchers are riskier than than other position players because their development more often slows or stalls (see Ben Davis) and they are more likely to sustain injuries (see Joe Mauer). But some of it was specific to Clement. His defense made it questionable whether he could stay at catcher, and his first two college seasons did not match the hype surrounding him coming out of high school.

    So why did the M’s take him at no. 3? Well, for starters, he improved his stock during his junior year and apparently showed enough improvement defensively. Lefty power hitting catchers with on-base skills are rare commodities (and just happen to fill three organizational needs). Clement also has displayed a good attitude and has apparently given indications that he will sign relatively quickly (unlike Maybin or a Boras client). After the big two were gone, Clement might have been the best fit for the M’s.

  25. Adam M on June 7th, 2005 5:05 pm

    On the topic of baseball, high schools and strange vaccuums of baseball players, somebody on DodgerThoughts posted an incredible rundown: of either decent current players or HoFers from Southern California (I can’t remember which), only one is from Los Angeles proper.

    Thus, the RBI program was born…

  26. Kevin M on June 7th, 2005 7:42 pm

    Clement played in high school about an hour away from where I live (in fact, Clement’s uncle is the athletic director at the high school in my community). If I recall correctly, he holds the national record for home runs in a 4-year career.

    Here’s hoping some more Iowans will become baseball fans! 🙂

  27. Ryan Carson on June 7th, 2005 9:42 pm

    Hey Derek,

    Isn’t David Riske from Kent?

  28. DMZ on June 7th, 2005 9:45 pm

    Renton. Lindbergh HS, which was one high school over from where I grew up.

  29. Ryan Carson on June 7th, 2005 9:51 pm

    Actually, he did go to Lindberg his senior year only. Other 3 were at Kentwood. (According to my cousin, a KW grad)

  30. DMZ on June 7th, 2005 10:13 pm

    Well that’s bizarre. Why would you want to go to Lindbergh if you were already at KW during that time? Lindbergh was kind of run-down even compared to Kentridge, which was no prize, while KW was pretty much brand-new then. And it’s not as if Lindbergh had some kind of stellar baseball team, either.

  31. ray on June 7th, 2005 10:18 pm

    So if this guy can be ready by 2007 then I guess the M’s already feel Olivio is a bust.

  32. The Ancient Mariner on June 7th, 2005 10:37 pm

    Maybe it has more to do with them thinking that Clement was the best player on the board.

  33. Mords on June 7th, 2005 10:44 pm

    Why would they think that?

  34. Mords on June 7th, 2005 10:44 pm

    And why did Hochevar fall so far?

  35. edwin on June 7th, 2005 10:46 pm

    I agree Ancient Mariner fan, it probably has more to do with him being their favorite player. It is not every day we can draft a power hitting left handed catcher with a good eye at the plate.

    People being negative just to be negative.

  36. roger tang on June 7th, 2005 10:57 pm

    Yeah….it’s obviously not a problem if Olivo comes around and becomes a competent hitter…

  37. Jesse Scott on June 7th, 2005 11:11 pm

    ESPN/Baseball America’s draft analysis:

    Clement generates light-tower power with a short, compact left-handed swing. He stays inside the ball well and gets excellent backspin. As a major-league hitter, he projects to hit .270 to .280 with 30 to 35 home runs…

    Wow… I haven’t heard “light-tower power” before. It certainly *sounds* impressive. 🙂 I do like those projected numbers though. Seems like that would fit very nicely in or around the 5 hole.

  38. eponymous coward on June 7th, 2005 11:17 pm

    So how do these “projects to his .270 to .280 with 30-35 HRs” projections get made, anyway? Actual statistical analysis? Or scouts pulling numbers out their asses? Some combination of the two? Or what?

    How do Clement’s numbers compare to other ML hitters at USC, like Boone and Cirillo? I know, it’s an imperfect comparison at best- but these projections always strike me as serious wishful thinking more than detailed analysis.

  39. Jesse Scott on June 7th, 2005 11:30 pm

    Yeah, I would also like to know how they come up with their projections exactly. But hey, it’s draft day. We’re supposed to be positive right? 🙂

  40. benjamin Ramm on June 8th, 2005 8:33 am

    Now that I’m reading the articles about Clement, I realized that I know his agent from college. Barely know him, but I’ve met the guy a few times.

  41. dw on June 8th, 2005 11:36 am

    For you Oregonians… Clement and USC will be in Corvallis this weekend for the super-regional series against Oregon State.

  42. Mords on June 8th, 2005 11:43 am

    Why did Hochevar fall so far?

  43. Graham on June 8th, 2005 2:15 pm

    Looks like him being a Boras client scared off a bunch of teams, Mords

  44. The Ancient Mariner on June 8th, 2005 5:20 pm

    Minor note, but the M’s picked up a couple of HS 1B in the last two rounds who could have gone in the top 10, Dennis Raben and Xavier Scruggs. Apparently Scruggs is a moon-shot pull hitter who has trouble making contact, especially with breaking stuff, while Raben slid because he’s committed to Miami. Both are good fielders, and either or both, if we sign them, could end up legit power-hitting prospects.

  45. spencer on June 13th, 2005 4:21 pm

    this guys amazing and can realy hit i live in marshalltown and i watched him play with my brother his dads my pincipal too bad hes not staying to beat mark maguiers record u should of saw him break the highschool record in mason city iowa he hit it on to the bilding behind the fince 20 feet away it was amazing

  46. spencer on June 13th, 2005 4:24 pm

    this guys amazing and can realy hit i live in marshalltown and i watched him play with my brother his dads my pincipal too bad hes not staying to beat mark maguiers record u should of saw him break the highschool record in mason city iowa he hit it on to the bilding behind the fince 20 feet away it was amazing