by Ken Babcock

Former Oshawa Legionaires Elite team member, Denzel Clarke, was selected in the fourth round (127th overall) by the Oakland Athletics on day two of the 2021 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Monday. An All-Big West Second Team selection this past season, Clarke is the highest drafted Matador since pitcher Craig Baker was taken in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies in the 2006 draft.  One of seven Big West players to be chosen at the draft through the first 10 rounds, Clarke is the conference's first and only hitter to be drafted.

Originally from Pickering, Ontario, Clarke impressed with his bat and glove this past season for the Matadors. Clarke started 38 games in center field where he finished batting .324 with a career-high 46 hits, 30 runs, 26 walks, 25 RBI, 11 doubles and eight home runs. He ranked fourth in the Big West Conference in stolen bases (15), seventh in slugging percentage (.570), eighth in home runs and on-base percentage (.445) and ninth in walks. Clarke shared the Big West Defensive Player of the Year award this season, becoming the first Matador in team history to win the honor. He posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 2021 and collected two outfield assists. Clarke played for Head Coach KenBabcock during his time playing in Oshawa.