Merritt Island Pitcher Mason Denaburg Selected by Washington Nationals in First Round of MLB Draft
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Senior Editor // June 5, 2018
Denaburg is 2018 Space Coast Daily breakfast of Champions baseball player of the year
ABOVE VIDEO: With pick No.27 in Round 1 of the 2018 MLB Draft, the reigning NL East Champion Washington Nationals selected Merritt Island Mustang pitcher, Mason Denaburg. (Video by MLB Network)
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – With pick No.27 in Round 1 of the 2018 MLB Draft, the reigning NL East Champion Washington Nationals selected Merritt Island Mustang pitcher, Mason Denaburg.
Denaburg becomes the second Brevard County player selected in the first round of MLB Draft tonight. Carter Stewart was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the eighth overall pick.
This is the first time this has ever happened on the same day for two Brevard County baseball players. This is not the first time two Brevard players were selected in the first round of the MLB Draft.
Back in 1975 another Merritt Island grad and current Pittsburgh Pirates manager, Clint Hurdle, was drafted No.9 overall by the Kansa City Royals.
Former Melbourne Bulldog and three-time World Series-winning manager for the San Francisco Giants, Bruce Bochy (2010, 12, 14), was selected No.23 in the 1975 MLB June Draft-Secondary Phase.
Denaburg is currently committed to play for the pitching-rich Florida Gators who have a reputation of developing hurlers for MLB mounds.
The 2018 Space Coast Daily Breakfast of champions Baseball Player of the Year was a potential Top 10 pick but an arm injury gave scouts cause for concern. However, Denaburg returned to the mound in time to lead the Mustangs all the way to the state title game.
The Mustangs lost in nine innings but Denaburg’s performance throughout the postseason raised his draft stock back into first-round territory.
ABOVE VIDEO: Merritt Island Mustang pitcher Mason Denaburg speaks with Alan Zlotrzynski of Space Coast Daily and the Friday Night Locker Room following a win over Eau Gallie earlier this season.
Arguably, one of the best athletes in all of Brevard County, Denaburg began his career at Merritt Island as a multi-sport athlete. On the gridiron as a sophomore, Denaburg was one of the best kickers in the county.
His range was 50-yards and he was consistently booting kickoffs out of the end zone and there was thinking he could walk on and punt or kick at the Swamp this fall.
On the diamond, Denaburg began behind the plate catching but what he could do from the mound couldn’t be overlooked. Skipper Greg Plecki made him the ace of the staff and Denaburg delivered.
Denaburg finished this season allowing less than one run per game (0.99 ERA) and his two to one strikeout ratio is something you usually only see in little league.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 5, 2018
Denaburg can also hit. He batted .410 this past year with five home runs, 21 Runs batted in and 35 hits in 83 at-bats.
One scouting report said of Denaburg, “When everything is right, Denaburg features a fastball at 93-95 MPH with peaks at 97. The pitch has plus movement as well as velocity. His breaking ball can be inconsistent but flashes plus, and he also shows the makings of a solid-average change-up.”
“At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Denaburg has the frame and focus that projects well as a major league starter and if everything clicks, will be a solid starter.”
The Nationals are known for selecting what insiders like to call can’t miss prospects high in the draft. Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen and Anthony Rendon to name a few.
The Nats are banking on Denaburg to join that list but will he. Like Carter Stewart, Denaburg has a decision to make.
He is committed to play for the reigning National Champion Florida Gators but the slotted money for the 27th overall pick is $2,472,700. Decisions-decisions.
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