Detroit Tigers prospect made a swing change & the outlook is exciting

When the Detroit Tigers drafted prospect Max Clark in the 2023 MLB Draft, there was a lot of potential, but with a recent swing change it feels as if he is making some good strides.

Tigers first-round draft pick Max Clark walks on the field before a game between Tigers and Padres
Tigers first-round draft pick Max Clark walks on the field before a game between Tigers and Padres / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Tigers have a couple of prospects who are moving in the right direction. But, one of their crown jewels for the farm system is a pick from the 2023 MLB First-Year Amateur Draft. The team took the first prep player off the board, selecting Max Clark with the third overall draft pick.

The Detroit Tigers opted to pass on Wyatt Langford, the standout outfielder from the University of Florida's program. However, the Tigers opted to take the prep player and buy into the future upside with the Franklin, Indiana native. On the other side of that, it has drawn a lot of criticism.

I'll be honest: Clark was not the player I hoped the team would select. I was hopeful for Langford and was even more hopeful the team would take Walker Jenkins over Clark. I've criticized Clark a bit and have been overly critical of his upside. But I'm trying to buy into the upside more.

While I still believe the potential power grades he's given are bogus and believe that there's some serious inflation to his future upside in some reports, Clark has done plenty to start swaying my attention in the right direction. Heading into 2024, Clark may not be competing for an MLB spot, but he's looking to make an impression in his first full season.

A revamped swing for Max Clark is good for the Detroit Tigers.

There are hitting gurus all over Twitter. Everyone's seen the funny videos of players mocking hitting drills from this coach or that coach. However, one of the Twitter follows I value very much is Trey Hannam (@TJHannam10). He posts some great content with regard to hitting, philosophies, drills, clips, etc.

Apparently, Clark feels the same. He did some work with Hannam this off-season, and then some clips of Clark from Spring Training emerged, and it looks like a swing change was made. From the looks of it, Clark has made a few adjustments to his stance and overall swing + swing path, which will only help him.

From the looks of it, three things stand out to me: changes that will cause positive improvements moving forward.

1. A more fluid swing path in itself.

To me, it looks like he channeled his movements to be more direct. Rather than a "double-move" with the barrel before working through the zone, he loads and then works directly to contact. In the past, sometimes it felt like his hands made almost a pre-load type move before making the actual motion to swing.

2. Wider base & bigger leg kick

Maybe it's just splitting hairs here, but the base that Clark sets up with seems wider. He works from a wider and bent-knee stance now, rather than being wider but short and minimal in the lower half. To me, it creates some more violence in the swing, being able to utilize the lower half to leverage well.

3. Violence through contact & a less launch-angle-driven swing

His swing looks more violent. To me, this feels like more of an intent thing, getting more leverage and strength through contact to drive the ball well. He has had some swings that look very launch-angle driven. However, this new swing and swing path looks more susceptible to matching planes.

If there's one thing to take from all of this, it's that Clark has made some positive improvements to his swing. He's been able to make some changes and improve his swing from his prep days, which the Tigers organization is working to do.

There's something to be said about the changes Clark has made. The Tigers have been able to see him take some strides in his development. For the 2024 season, keep an eye on Clark in his first season in the big leagues.