Miami Marlins Prospect Watch: Spotlight on Ethan Clark

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 02: A general view of the Marlin's Ballpark during a preseason game against the New York Yankees at Marlins Park on April 2, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 02: A general view of the Marlin's Ballpark during a preseason game against the New York Yankees at Marlins Park on April 2, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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After posting a 41-57 record through the first “half” of the season, there’s a lot to look forward to in the Miami Marlins minor league feeder system. Six of their seven teams were in action on Sunday, although only the New Orleans Baby Cakes were victorious.

Using the FanDuel method of scoring fantasy statistics, I grade each player in each appearance  through the season. Today’s top player, Jarlin Garcia, is no longer really considered a “prospect,” as such. Of the other 63 players to appear in a contest in the Miami Marlins system today, Ethan Clark scored next highest.

Ethan Clark is a 6’5″, 235 lb. right-handed pitcher from Oklahoma City, OK. Born on October 26th, 1994, he was a 15th round choice of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015. As the 448th overall selection, he signed for a $127,500 bonus.

Clark spent the entirety of his first two professional seasons with the rookie level Princeton Rays. In 2015, he allowed an opposing batting average of .342 and a 6.84 ERA in 26 1/3 innings. Clearly needing more work, they kept him for 2016. Their patience was rewarded with a 7-2 record in 12 appearances, with one save. He registered a 2.91 ERA, an opposing batting average of .216, and a 1.06 WHIP.

In 2017, Clark played the first half of his season with the Bowling Green Hot Rods, Tampa Bay’s Midwest League affiliate. In 12 games, including nine starts, he was 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and a .196 oppBA. On June 24th, he struck out a then-career-high nine batters in six innings, allowing just one hit and earning a 4-0 win over the Fort Wayne Tin Caps. Two days later, the Rays sent him along with CF Braxton Lee to the Marlins for SS Adeiny Hechavarria.

Clark entered the Greensboro Grasshoppers rotation for 11 turns, and put up a 1.27 WHIP and a 2.05 ERA with his 3-2 record. That was worthy of a promotion. This season, he’s 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP with the Jupiter Hammerheads.

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Clark has 207 career strikeouts in 227 2/3 innings in his pro career, and has walked 83 batters. In last night’s game, a 5-4 loss to the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Clark tossed a quality start, getting 55-of-87 pitches over the plate. He earned a 64 GameScore, allowing one run on seven hits and zero walks. He whiffed five, and six-of-nine ball-in-play outs were of the fly-ball variety.

Clark has never had a plate appearance professionally. As a defender off the hill, he’s handled 49 chances in total and has made three errors for a .939 career fielding percentage.

Going forward, Clark should start next season with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. If he continues a normal progression, he’ll make his major league debut for the Miami Marlins in 2021.

Next: Miami Marlins Top 10 All-Time Strikeout Artists

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