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.
He's signed with Arkansas, but it seems increasingly unlikely that he'll ever play for the Razorbacks.
After his performance at the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field, ESPN's Keith Law called Denney “one player who actually made himself some money.”
A week before, Denney had blasted a home run at the Area Code Games.
Still, the senior shrugs off the attention.
“I'm used to it now,” Denney said. “At first, it was a lot but really in the winter, it really just kind of blended together. I'm able to play my game and not worry about it.”
Denney said he's most at ease when most of the eyes are on him.
“When I'm up at bat, I'm the most relaxed ever,” Denney said. “That's one of the best parts of my game, I think, it's the way I handle things mentally.”
At the plate is also the area where Denney has made the most strides recently.
He's adjusted better from summer showcase baseball to the high school season this year, James said.
“He travels and you get to see high-quality pitching every time,” James said. “Not that we don't have good pitching or the people we face don't have good pitching, but it's not 95-96 mph and left-handers and stuff like that. Before, when he came back, he'd be ready to hit 95 and they're throwing softer and he'd get himself out.
“Now, he sits back on it and hits it. He'll take a walk if it comes his way. He's gotten more patient and more mature.”