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Jeff Clement

With the third overall pick, as everyone knows by this point, the M's selected USC catcher Jeff Clement. Clement stands at 6'1" and weighs in at 210 pounds. He currently holds the all-time high school homerun record with 75.

Clement has a short, compact swing that generates a ton of power. After a terrific freshman season (.298/.402/.649, 21 HR), he struggled a bit in his sophomore campaign, battling injuries and pitchers began to pitch around him (.293/.416/.515, 10 HR). Clement rebounded this season, hitting .347/.474/.606, hitting 13 homeruns and driving in 50.

The biggest knock on Clement had been his defense, which he worked hard to improve this past off-season. Scouts who saw Clement this season said that he was much improved. His arm strength isn't anything to write home about, but he did throw out 40% of would be base stealers. His mechanics and blocking have improved and some believe that he can continue to improve as he progress through the system. He won't be winning any Gold Gloves in his future, but he doesn't appear to be the liability that some people though he might be.

Baseball America projects him to hit somewhere between .270-.280 with 30-35 homerun power. His swing is made for Safeco Field's short right field fence and to think he could be exploiting that within two years is exciting. Clement is also a tremendous improvement over an incredibly weak position in the system and gives them a legitimate catching prospect for the first time since they traded Jason Varitek.

Dave at USS Mariner has a complete listing of his current and future tools rating. Definitely check that out if you haven't already.