All-State baseball: Yukon's Jonathan Denney is player of the year

Millers catcher is also Big All-City player of the year.
by Ryan Aber Published: June 8, 2013
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When Jonathan Denney joined Yukon's baseball team a few years ago, coach Kevin James knew he had a special talent.

But James had to figure out how to rein in his catcher.

Denney was sometimes too quick behind the plate, not giving umpires a chance to get a good look at pitches.

“There were times he'd come up so quick to throw down that he'd take away pitches from our pitchers,” James said. “He's the quickest catcher I've ever seen.”

Denney settled in nicely, though, becoming one of the best high school catchers in the nation, solid defensively and feared on offense.

Denney is The Oklahoman's All-State and Big All-City Player of the Year.

Denney's stats were very good — he hit .459 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs.

But his worth to the Millers goes far beyond that.

Virtually no one tried to run on Denney this season, and he even affected how teams were able to advance.

“Last year, for him to be a factor as far as defensively in the game, he'd backpick guys at first, backpick guys at second,” James said. “Now, they weren't even taking a lead at first. It held guys in check. If a guy's on first base, a double didn't necessarily score him. If he was on second, a single didn't necessarily score him.

“Now that I don't have him back there anymore, I'm going to have to go back to coaching now.”

C.J. Medlin hasn't been around Denney nearly as long as James, but Medlin has seen Denney improve quite a bit over the past few months.

Medlin, a former minor league catcher who played at Seminole State, has been Denney's catching instructor for about the last year.

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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