Jon Denney entered Day 2 of the Major League Baseball draft as one of the most highly touted players available. The Red Sox scooped him up in the third round with the 81st overall pick.
Denney, an 18-year-old catcher out of Yukon High School in Oklahoma, ranked No. 20 on MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects list and No. 25 on Baseball America’s top 500 list. He was considered by many to be a potential first-round pick, and he even attended MLB Network’s telecast of the first two rounds on Thursday thinking that his name would be called.
According to Baseball America, “Denney’s calling card is his right-handed power, which he generates with quality bat speed and strength.” The young backstop — who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds — also has solid arm strength and moves well behind the plate, although his footwork may need some improvement.
The biggest issue the Red Sox face will be signing Denney. The No. 81 pick holds a slot value of $671,200, and Denney, who has a commitment to play college ball at Arkansas, might not sign for such a figure. The Red Sox may need to sign Denney to a well-over-slot bonus, as they did when they drafted and signed fourth-round pick Ty Buttrey for $1.3 million in 2012. Doing so would require the Red Sox to cut costs elsewhere, and it may prove difficult.
If the Red Sox do sign Denney, though, he’ll add even more catching depth to an organization with plenty of it right now.
Check out the video below for more on Denney.