Mason Denaburg entered the spring as one of the top overall prospects in the MLB Draft. He was still highly thought of throughout the season, though the prospect of selecting him suddenly had risks after a spring spent battling biceps tendonitis.
That didn’t stop the Washington Nationals, who selected Denaburg with the 27th selection in the first round of the June Amateur Draft.
No, the ailment didn’t keep Denaburg out of action, but it did limit him enough to make some — including MLB.com’s Jim Callis — to predict the right-hander would slide in the first round of the draft.
Denaburg tossed just 35.1 innings in his senior campaign due to complications related to the tendinitis. The good news is that in those 35 innings, Denaburg recorded 73 strikeouts with a 0.99 ERA.
The Merritt Island (Fla.) star has an MLB frame and electric stuff, though he is a late-comer to pitching. Denaburg was predominantly a catching prospect prior to his junior season before he broke out on the mound. Even then, the tendonitis relegated him to the outfield for a majority of his senior season, where he excelled just as he did behind the plate. Per Florida Today, in his senior year he hit .410 with five home runs and 21 RBI.
That Denaburg is an athletic wonder is not in question. He has MLB potential both as a pitcher and hitter, a bit like Rick Ankiel. Now it’s time for the Nationals to determine which way he can have the biggest impact at the MLB level.