- Full name Darren Lawrence Clarke
- Born 03/18/1981 in San Diego, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'8" / Wt.: 235 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School South Florida State College
- Debut 05/18/2007
- Drafted in the 35th round (1,037th overall) by the Colorado Rockies in 2000.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The question with Clarke is whether he can ever stay healthy enough to get more than the two-game cameo he had with the Rockies last May. He had Tommy John surgery in 2004 and has yet to make more than 25 appearances in a season since becoming a full-time reliever in 2005. He strained his elbow that season and his right lat muscle in 2006, and the lat muscle knocked him out for three months last year. Clarke has a 1.98 ERA since moving to the bullpen but has worked just 59 innings in that time. He has overpowering stuff and could contribute to the Colorado bullpen if he could remain on the active roster. Clark's fastball consistently registers in the mid-90s, and he backs it up with an 85-88 mph slider. He also has a changeup that elicits swings and misses from lefthanders. With his size, Clark throws on a downhill plane that adds some movement to his pitches. He has learned to control his emotions and doesn't let even tight situations faze him. He pleased the Rockies by dedicating himself to conditioning in 2006, but he still hasn't been able to stay on the mound.
Clarke was dominating in high Class A last season, earning a spot in the California League-Carolina League all-star game roster. He was on the verge of jumping to Triple-A when he was sidelined by a strained right lat muscle. Staying healthy has been the biggest challenge for Clarke, who has intimidating size on the mound. He had reconstructive right elbow surgery in 2004, and had his 2005 season cut short because of a right elbow strain. The good news is the problems in 2006 had nothing to do with the elbow. With his height and a downhill delivery, Clarke's 98 mph fastball gets on hitters in a hurry. He has a hard slurve for a breaking pitch that is effective because hitters are so focused on the fastball. He also gained depth on it by adjusting his release point, moving it further from his head. The positive from his three-year battle with health problems has been the effort he put into a conditioning program, which allowed him to shed more than 40 pounds. The Rockies feel strongly enough about Clarke that they protected him on the 40-man roster in the offseason. He'll advance past Class A for the first time in 2007.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Slider in the Colorado Rockies in 2007