[ed. note - “With interest in the Washington Nationals’ farm system at a high level, Federal Baseball has begun a series featuring the top 30 prospects in the system as of late last season, according to Baseball America. We will start with No. 30 and work our way to the top over the next few weeks, with one prospect highlighted each weekday.”]
WASHINGTON – The Nationals have gone to great lengths to fill their farm system with solidly-built right-handed pitchers.
And some of those hurlers have had to deal with overcoming Tommy John surgery – and the 6-foot-4 Mason Denaburg fits the bill on both of those descriptions.
A first-round pick in 2018 out of a Florida high school, Denaburg hasn’t pitched in a pro game since the 2019 season.
He was placed on the roster of Single-A Fredericksburg on May 6 and the same day was put on the 60-day Injured List.
The Nationals were very high on the Florida native, who turned 22 in August.
“Very, very good make-up kid, tremendous competitor, good delivery, clean action, has that starter look about him,” Nats’ Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Operations Kris Kline told reporters on the night of the 2018 Draft.
“Big fastball,” Kline continued when asked for a scouting report.
“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 that year, which led to him being available with the 27th pick.
“It’s not an injury that for us was going to scare us off,” Kline said after the draft. “Mason missed some time with some biceps tendonitis. I ended up going there and seeing him, well, actually, Alan Marr, our area scout there, saw a three-inning simulated game after he came back and it was really good. He didn’t show any signs of fatigue or any signs of an injury and then I ran in there in a playoff game and he looked really good.”
“The last few months were good,” Denaburg told reporters after signing in July of 2018 for a well-above slot $3M signing bonus ($2.4727M was the recommended bonus for his slot).
“I got back on the mound after the injury and I pitched in the last three games of the year and then I kind of chilled out for a little bit, but I’m feeling good now,” he said.
Denaburg pitched in seven games in 2019 in the Gulf Coast League, then had shoulder surgery later that year.
“He is building up his arm strength. He will throw in the next week or so then start focusing on next year. He worked diligently all season long,” farm director Mark Scialabba told Federal Baseball in 2020.