As MLB playoffs loom, we look at former Pickle's professional success
After finishing out a stellar senior season at UC San Diego, Portland fans were pleased to see beloved Pickle Zander Clarke return for a third summer in the Rose City. Clarke’s arrival brought immediate impact into a young West Coast League season, as he knocked in 15 runs with 9 extra base hits, as well as averaging a whopping .476 during a modest 9 game hit streak.
The Newbury Park slugger’s dominance in the batter’s box commanded some much deserved attention from Major League scouts, and after 20 games of leading the WCL in average (.390), home runs (8) and RBIs (28), Zander was signed to a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants.
Reporting to the Giants’ Arizona Rookie League “Black” squad, Clarke was able to continue seeing the ball well, and in his only full month of pro-level baseball hit a solid .273 with a .448 On Base Percentage. Defensively, Giants coaches tested Zander’s 6’5” frame at first base, where he logged 50 innings of error-less play. Looking forward, Pickles fans are eager to continue watching Clarke climb through the ranks of the Minor League system, and could see Zander return to Oregon if the Northwest League’s Salem-Keizer Volcanoes renew their Single-A contract with San Francisco next season.
Tulane RHP Connor Pellerin
Top collegiate baseball website Perfect Game released their recap of the 2018 West Coast League season, as well as the top 20 prospects within the league. Two Pickles were featured on the list, available here, with the number 2 prospect being none other than Zander Clarke. Tulane righty Connor Pellerin comes in at number 9, after a workhorse season on Zach Miller’s staff. Through only 35.1 innings pitched, Pellerin logged 50 strikeouts on his way to 5 wins, tied only with Brad McVay for the team lead.
Although many deserving 2018 Pickles were left off the Top Prospects list, be sure to check back right here on www.portlandpicklesbaseball.com, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as we bring you all of the latest player updates, preseason rankings, and offseason happenings.