In discussing the decision to go with high school right-hander Mason Denaburg with their top pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies that Denaburg projected as a top of the rotation arm.
“We felt that this player has a chance to be a front of the rotation starter,” Rizzo said in his weekly interview the Junkies last month.
“Now there’s some projection and development that has to go into it, but rather than taking a college pitcher that we know who he is but it’s only a back end starter we went for upside with this player.
“He’s a supreme athlete. Great stuff. Great body. He looks like a college player already. He’s only 18 years old, and we’d like to get him signed, get him developed, and our track record with developing pitchers has been supreme, so we feel good about the drafts.”
Nationals’ Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline said the Nationals were lucky to get Denaburg where they did, with the 27th overall pick of the Draft.
“Very, very good makeup kid,” Kline said. “Tremendous competitor, good delivery, clean action, has that starter look about him. Big fastball, he’ll show you an above average breaking ball and an above average changeup and he’s a good-looking kid, one of the guys that we ID’d early and I think we’re very fortunate that he slid as far as he did.”
Denaburg dealt with biceps tendonitis in his draft year, but the Nationals were clear that they were comfortable with what they saw in the medical reports.
According reports from FanCred’s Jon Heyman and the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes, the Nationals and their top pick are close to agreeing on a deal ahead of the July 6, 2018 deadline to sign this year’s picks (at least those that weren’t college seniors).
Mason Denaburg, nats are close to a deal. Denaburg, No. 27 pick overall, is a RHP from Merritt island, fla. slot value 2.5M, bonus not known.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 2, 2018
Nats, Mason Denaburg are closing in on a deal, according to person familiar with the situation. Hearing nothing has been signed or finalized yet, though. Nats and Boras clients usually go right to 11th hour, so this would qualify as early.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 2, 2018
Denaburg is in DC for his physical, according to a person familiar with it all. Deadline to sign is July 6.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 2, 2018
According to MLB.com, the projected signing bonus for the 27th overall pick is $2,472,700.