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2018 Rangers draft preview: Mason Denaburg

Taking a look at potential Texas Rangers draft pick Mason Denaburg

MLB: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2018 MLB Draft preview: Mason Denaburg scouting report.

With the 2018 MLB Draft just ten days away — the first round kicks off on June 4, 2018 — its time to start offering capsule looks at players the Texas Rangers could select with their top picks. The Rangers’ first round pick is at #15 and their second round pick is at #55 — they have no compensatory picks this year.

Leading up to draft day, we will be doing writeups of some of the players who could end up getting selected by the Rangers with one of their first two picks. Today, we are looking at Florida high school pitcher/catcher Mason Denaburg.

Mason Denaburg is a 6’3”, 190 lb. righthanded pitcher out of Merritt Island High School in Florida. Denaburg also catches, and would likely get a chance to play both ways if he ends up attending the University of Florida, where he is currently committed — and if he goes to UofF, he would also have a chance to play football if he chose, as a kicker and punter. The consensus seems to be that his future as a professional is on the mound, however.

Denaburg is athletic, has a mid-90s fastball, a good breaking ball, and feel for his changeup, and folks seem to view his potential growth as being significant, given how little time he has spent focusing on just pitching. Denaburg had been expected to possibly be off the board before the Rangers picked at #15 until he ended up getting shut down this spring with biceps tendinitis. The medical issues with Denaburg, along with the fact he’s on the older side for a high school selection (he turns 19 in August), complicate his situation.

MLB Pipeline has Denaburg ranked at #24 on their rankings, saying that his build reminds some of John Smoltz, and that he could take a big step forward once he focuses solely on pitching. Baseball America has him at #22, saying that he has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starting pitcher if he can stay in the rotation. Fangraphs puts Denaburg at #27 on their rankings, though they say he could move up or down 10-15 spots depending on his pre-draft medicals. Keith Law, meanwhile, has him at #58 on his board, saying he was an “easy top-20 pick” before the injury issues.

As far as the mock drafts go, Fangraphs’ latest mock draft has Washington taking Denaburg at #27, as does Jonathan Mayo in his latest mock draft, saying that Denaburg, if healthy, is a top-10 type talent. Jim Callis also has the Nationals going with Denaburg at #27 in his latest mock draft, while neither Keith Law nor BA have Denaburg going in the first round.

Denaburg fits the profile of the type of pitchers that the Rangers like, though it seems unlikely that he’d go off the board at #15, unless he agrees to below-slot money there. If the Rangers were to take Denaburg, it would be more likely at #55 to an above-slot deal there. Given the dynamics of this draft, I’m inclined to think the Rangers will go prep bat at #15, and then try to get a prep pitcher who slides due to bonus demands at #55 to an above-slot deal.

Here’s video of Denaburg pitching: