Entering spring training this season, Milwaukee Brewers’ first baseman Matt Clark was a forgotten man. With the addition of Adam Lind and more versatile bench options, Clark’s chances of making the roster out of spring seemed slim to none. But through the first week, Clark’s torrid bat has been on fire. With a powerful left handed bat, he has entered March looking to swing his way on to the team.
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Throughout parts of six minor league seasons, Clark has shown off impressive power. He has a .286 career minor league batting average with 128 home runs and an .865 OPS. Even with these great numbers, he could not seem to find his way onto a major league roster.
But all things changed last July when Clark was signed by the Brewers out of necessity. With an injury to AAA first baseman, Hunter Morris, the Brewers signed Clark as a fill in at first to provide at bats and some power. Although he was released by the New York Mets in late June, he had hit 10 home runs to go along with a .297 batting average.
Throughout out his time at AAA Nashville, Clark continued to swing a hot bat. Instead of just filling in for Morris, he exceeded every expectation. In 57 games, he batted .313 with 16 home runs and an awesome .976 OPS. These shining numbers more than earned a call-up to the Brewers in September.
After this career year in the minors, Clark became a fan favorite when he was finally promoted to Milwaukee. Though he batted just .185 in 27 at-bats, he showed off his thunderous left-handed swing with home runs in three straight games.
With the injury to Lind, Clark’s bat has remained on fire this spring. Through the team’s first five games, he has been the their offensive star. He has not only slugged two home runs while batting .545, but his 1.727 OPS has helped to open eyes.
Unlike other roster options, Clark cannot play third and he has limited time in the outfield, but at the very least his left handed bat could provide power off the bench that the team sorely lacks. Good teams have a bat off the bench that can knock the ball out of the park at any time and Clark could be that missing piece to the Brewers’ bench. He has a long way to go this spring, but if he can continue to slug, he will be tough to keep of the roster come April.