South Carolina baseball alum Wes Clarke participated in the Arizona Fall League Home Run Derby this weekend. The former Gamecock catcher/first baseman led the Southern League (Double-A) in home runs this season and was an obvious choice for inclusion in the competition.
In the end, Clarke did not advance past the early rounds of the Home Run Derby, but that doesn’t mean that his showing was void of entertainment value.
Clarke hit one of the day’s longest home runs with an absolute blast to left center that landed deep in the bleachers.
However, when it became apparent to Clarke that he would not be advancing, he took a timeout and ate a hot dog, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
Clarke also earned a starting spot in the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game (Arizona Fall-Star Game), playing first base and hitting third for the National League Arizona Fall League All-Stars. He went 0-3 before exiting for a substitute.
The slugging right-hander could be in line for a promotion next season. Playing in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, Clarke offers offense and right-handed power, two desperate needs at the Major League level.
Clarke seems likely to move up to the Triple-A level next season, and with Rowdy Tellez now a free agent, the Big League club is in need of a first baseman, as well. If he plays well, a bump up to the Major League club is not out of the question for the South Carolina baseball legend.
During his South Carolina career, Wes Clarke set the program record for AB/HR ratio, knocking a ball over the fence every 9.4 at-bats. Had he had more at-bats (just over 300 for his entire career), he would have finished much higher than his 17th-place spot on the all-time home run list for Gamecock power hitters.