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2013 MLB Draft Profile: Jonathan Denney, C, Oklahoma HS

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Denney has been said to have elite defensive skills by many but I see his bat as even better than his defense.


Jonathan Denney, C, Yukon, OK
High School Senior
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
HT/WT: 6'2"/205
Birthdate: 9/28/94 Age at Draft: 18.82

One thing that you will hear a lot for the 2013 MLB Draft: the catching class is deep. This class has several guys who can be drafted as catchers with a good chance that they can actually stick there. There is a wealth of available talent, but Oklahoma high schooler Jonathan Denney is arguably the best of the crop.

Many times scouts just hope that a player can stick behind the plate and will draft him for the bat alone, but that's not true in Denney's case. He has solid defensive actions, although the arm stroke could be improved upon. Even with that bit of extra movement, he still posts above average and occasionally great pop times. I think the arm stroke can be smoothed out.

Although the glove is good, at the plate is where Denney makes his mark. The first time I saw him, he didn't jump out at me. He made short work against good pitching and thought it may have been a fluke. His second time at the plate and it was more of the same; this was against good competition, but it can be misleading to judge a guy on just one or two at-bats.

The third time is when I thought he was for real. This kid could be a star. He makes this look to easy, I thought. He squared up everything. He hits the ball hard, on a line, for power. His swing is fast but it stays in the zone for a long time. It creates good loft that should give him plenty of extra base hits.

It's hard to really say what Denney could be. His ceiling is that high. His swing is better than two comparable prep players that I have seen, Wil Myers and Tyler Austin, at the same age. They have big time bats and he does too. His defense is very good, but Denney's bat may be good enough that he ends up in a corner outfield spot anyway, just to move through the minors more rapidly.

If I were a GM, there would be no chance he makes it to Arkansas and no way he makes it out of the top 10 picks in this draft.