Tigers' Max Clark getting roasted for customized 'receipts' cleats

San Diego Padres v Detroit Tigers
San Diego Padres v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

Despite a lot of refreshing excitement for the 2024 Detroit Tigers within the fandom, and even a little bit of hype outside of it, this team is still very much an underdog. If they can capitalize on their promise and make a real run at a Wild Card spot, or even take the AL Central, it'll certainly still shock baseball fans.

The young core probably contributes to both the hype and the doubt equally. The Tigers are carrying three first-round picks on their active roster — Casey Mize, Riley Greene, and Spencer Torkelson — on top of the highly-touted, long-extended Colt Keith, all of whom are (for one injury-related reason or another) still relatively untested and looking to really break out.

The doubled-edged hype/doubt sword extends deeper into the organization as well, especially to No. 1 Tigers prospect (and 2023 first-rounder) Max Clark. He took exception to the latter and debuted some new cleats on Sunday to make that clear. They're decorated with tweets from haters, even going as far as to include usernames to really call them out.

It's an awesome statement, and the shoes are certainly cool, but the point Clark is trying to make sort of falls flat when you look at his batting line down in A-ball.

Detroit Tigers No. 1 prospect Max Clark's 'hater receipt' cleats are awesome, but he's not doing much to prove the haters wrong

Clark is batting a paltry .167/.297/.200 through eight games, with no home runs, five RBI, and only one extra-base hit. He tore up Rookie Ball last season and was moved up after only 12 games, but then he seemed to hit a wall, all of the power draining from his bat. Although he managed to get on base a lot in A-ball last year, he's not walking at the same rate in 2024, and he still hasn't managed to get a hold of his first home run in A-ball.

We're still pretty far away from seeing him land in the majors (MLB Pipeline lists an ETA of 2026), and it seems to be wiser to give a No. 3 overall pick the benefit of the doubt instead of completely writing him off with only just over 30 career games under his belt. Let the haters be motivators, Max Clark! Hopefully the cleats will do their job as a constant reminder of the naysayers and work a little more life into his bat going forward.