Dennis has surpassed fellow Michigan shortstop recruit Daniel Fields as the Wolverine State's best prospect this spring. An athletic 6-foot-3, 175-pounder, Dennis was also an all-state guard in basketball, averaging 21.6 points a game as a senior and finishing his career as the leading scorer in Forest Hills Central's history. Scouts describe him as a cross between former Michigan high school product D.J. LeMahieu (now at Louisiana State) and former Wolverines shortstop Jason Christian (the Athletics' fifth-round pick in 2008). Dennis is a better athlete than LeMahieu but isn't quite as advanced as a hitter. He's no slouch at the plate, however, and Dennis has a long finish from the right side and uses the opposite field like LeMahieu does. He should develop at least solid power as he fills out his frame, and he has shown the ability to drive the ball with a wood bat. Dennis grades as an average runner, in part because he has a long swing and it takes him time to get out of the box, but he makes all the plays at shortstop. He has a quick first step, good range and a strong arm. The draft is thin on middle infielders and it's easy to dream on Dennis, so a team that likes him could pop him as early as the third round. He's considered a potential tough sign, though, and could slide much further. He strained his ribcage in mid-May, making it difficult for clubs to get a good look at him right before the draft.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Rays 10th Round Pick - 319th Overall: Derek Dennis
Ranked #130 overall by BaseballAmerica, and #1 in Michigan:
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