Scouting KC Area Amateur Baseball: Jon Denney, Yukon, OK

This boy can play.

While in Arizona, I had the chance see semi-local Jonathan Denney play in the Best of the West High School Tournament. I had planned on going to Oklahoma to see him later in the year, so I was able to save a trip. He is a 6'2", 205 pound senior out of Yukon, Oklahoma where he normally plays catcher. In the game I saw him, he was at 1B after catching a game earlier in the day. He did not disappoint in the game watched.

Denney is by far the highest rated local high school talent. Keith Law of ESPN and Matt Garrioch of Minorleagueball.com both have him as the 9th highest rated prospect, high school or college, in the country.

Keith Law analysis on him states:

High school catchers are a dangerous group in the draft. The last prep catcher to generate at least 2 WAR as a major league catcher is Jarrod Saltalamacchia, drafted in 2003, one year after Atlanta took Brian McCann (19.8 WAR), but this year is pretty heavy with them. Denney is clearly the cream of the crop, a good-throwing catcher who receives well, hits and hits for power.

And Garrioch says the following in an entire article dedicated to Denney:

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.

In the game I saw, he came to bat four times and he went 2-2 with a double and 2 walks.

First off, he wasn't really given much to swing at. A friend of mine went behind home plate and said a couple of his called strikes should have been called balls. With him not getting much in the way of strikes he swing at, his swing is beautiful. He starts with great balance which helps produce outstanding bat speed. For a high school talent, not much can be found wrong with his swing. He was definitely a man among boys.

If anyone is in the Oklahoma City area, I would definitely try to see if he is playing.

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