On The Move
MILWAUKEEFor the second year in a row, Daryl Clark is moving.
With high Class A High Desert last year, Clark moved from third base to the outfield. This year, he moved from the California League up to Double-A Huntsville.
Clark, 23, earned his ticket by hitting .354 with a league-high 12 homers with the Mavericks to start the season. He was joined by another hot High Desert hitter, catcher Kade Johnson. Johnson had nine homers and was playing outstanding defense.
Clark and Johnson, a second-round pick in 1999 who has been plagued by injuries, were in danger of falling off the prospect radar when they got off to hot starts.
"We knew that Clark had a pretty good bat," farm director Reid Nichols said. "He just needed to improve defensively. The big thing with Kade was just getting him back behind the plate.
"Theyve both done very well."
Clark, a 17th-round pick in 2000 from UNC Charlotte, belted 67 homers in his first 330 pro games. Though he may struggle in the less hitter-friendly Southern League parks, Brewers officials think his power will improve. Clark is now known as an opposite-field, line-drive hitter.
"I dont have a problem with guys doing thatWade Boggs did all right hitting that way," said Nichols, who played with Boggs in Boston. "After (Rafael Palmeiro) hit his 500th homer, they showed clips of him early in his career and he hit a lot of balls the other way. The power will be there. Eventually."
On their way to Huntsville, Clark and Johnson crossed paths with slumping outfielder Cristian Guerrero and catcher Joel Alvarado, who were sent from Alabama to California. Guerrero, Vladimirs younger brother, was then taken off the 40-man and claimed on waivers by the Mariners. His failure to hit breaking balls and play consistent defense have hurt his development.
"Hes got the bloodlines and hes got size and some tools, but he hasnt made adjustments," Nichols said. "You have to make adjustments in this game."
Huntsville righthander Mike Jones, a first-round pick in 2001, strung together 21 consecutive scoreless innings and lowered his ERA to 2.43.
&149; Brewers officials continue to be thrilled with the performance of righthander Tom Wilhelmsen, a seventh-round pick last year who was mowing down hitters at Class A Beloit. The 19-year-old was hitting 92-93 mph consistently.
Previous organization report: Brad Nelson and Prince Fielder
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