Position: Outfielder Height: 6-2 Weight: 195
Born: 10/27/1983 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Clevlen is yet another Detroit outfield prospect who had the opportunity to play quarterback at the collegiate level. Clevlen was a star athlete for Westwood High School, and was taken in the 2nd round of the 2002 draft by the Tigers. Brent was projected as a fringe first-round talent, whom the Tigers were thrilled to find available with their second choice. Upon signing for $805,000, Clevlen began raking right away in the Gulf Coast League, notching a .330/.372/.495 line as a rookie. Brent continued his success with West Michigan of the Midwest League in 2003, despite the pitcher-friendly confines of Fifth Third Park. After his first two seasons, Clevlen was considered to be one of the top prospects in the system, and a likely candidate to hit Detroit by late 2006. Then came his dismal 2004 season with Lakeland. Clevlen regressed in every facet of his game during a rough season that dramatically tarnished his prospect star. After a banner 2005 campaign, I think it is safe to say Clevlen is back. During a season when Clevlen was named TigsTown.com's Minor League Player of the Year, as well as Florida State League MVP, Brent exploded back onto the prospect map.
Clevlen is a superb athlete and a natural baseball player. The game comes easy to him, and he typically looks fluid and confident in all his actions on the field. At the plate, Clevlen has average pitch recognition skills and has worked hard to curtail his habits of chasing wild pitches. His plate discipline could stand to take another step forward, but it is acceptable at this point. With only average speed, Clevlen will never be a significant base stealing threat, and he will likely be limited to right field defensively. His power potential is top notch, but his swing gets long and goes into streaks where he pops the ball up routinely. Clevlen must refine his aggressive approach at the plate, and continue to maintain a short, quick stroke to be a successful offensive player at higher levels. Defensively, Clevlen has solid average range, and progressing instincts. His arm is strong and accurate. Clevlen loses focus in the field and must mature mentally to become a defensive asset. Overall, he has above-average Major League potential, but lacks consistency, and must continue to take steps forward to remain in the good graces of the front office.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% A+
Clevlen has not experienced any significant injuries at this point in his career.
Clevlen's hard work during the offseason paid off in 2005, with an exceptional season that has Tiger fans anxiously awaiting his arrival in Detroit. He must first take on the challenge of advanced AA-competition with Erie in 2006, something that could be a huge test for him. With the struggles he experienced going from low to high-A, it is not impossible for Clevlen to have some rough stretches with Erie. Clevlen's ceiling is top notch, and he has a chance to be a special player in Detroit. With a good season, he could see some time with the big club in September, but the more likely scenario involves him making his Major League debut sometime in 2007.
Mark Anderson covers the Tigers' minor league system and all of minor league baseball for TigsTown.com. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.