In mid-February, with the Oklahoma winds howling outside and the temperature hovering just a few degrees above freezing, Yukon's baseball team went indoors to hit before the Millers' scrimmage against Deer Creek.
The baseball team wasn't alone, though.
More than 30 scouts from virtually every major league team crowded around the cage trying to get a look at Yukon catcher Jon Denney.
“It's a zoo,” Millers coach Kevin James said of the constant attention Denney draws. “I've never dealt with it as a player and now dealt with it twice as a coach. He handles it extremely well.”
James went through a similar situation in 2009 when left-handed pitcher Chad James wound up being picked No. 18 overall in the MLB Draft.
Denney could go even higher. He could become the highest-drafted high school position player from the state since Southeast's Darrell Porter was picked fourth overall in 1970.
His pop time — the time from when the ball hits his glove to when the middle infielder at second catches it on a steal — was measured at sub-1.7 seconds by scouts this summer.
“When I was in Little League, I wasn't anything special,” Denney said. “There are a few guys on my team that I've played with since I was 8 that were always better than I was.
“It just kind of picked up and I took it and worked with it and other people have helped me. It's something God gave me I guess.”
Denney had a good reputation after last season but really enhanced it over the summer, traveling to showcase after showcase and showing how his skills stack up against the best high school catchers and hitters nationwide.
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