Spring Training Report: 3/29/2014

First baseman David Denson hit .244 with 13 extra-base hits in 40 games last season.  (Photo: Brad Krause)
First baseman David Denson hit .244 with 13 extra-base hits in 40 games last season. (Photo: Brad Krause)

DENSON ENJOYING FIRST SPRING TRAINING

The past year has been a bit of a whirlwind for Brewers first base prospect David Denson.

After committing to the University of Hawaii, he was selected last June by Milwaukee in the 15th round of the MLB draft.

The 6’4″ slugger opted to sign with the Brewers and started his pro career that same month, going on to tie for third in the Arizona League in home runs (6) and walks (29) as a 17-year-old.

He turned 18 in November and this spring has been taking part in his first Spring Training with Milwaukee in Maryvale, Arizona.

“Camp’s been going really well” said Denson. “I’m having a great time.”

“Currently I’m working on just keeping my hands inside, trying to go middle-the other way, to the opposite field. Working on keeping my hands down on defense and just mainly trying to stay within myself, not trying to do too much.”

Asked what differences he noticed going from high school to the pros, the left-handed hitting Californian was quick to mention the advanced approach of the pitchers he faced.

“I would have to say the main difference for me is that I see that pitchers are more consistent with their pitches” Denson said, “they know how to hit their spots more. They’re able to read a batter a lot more than in high school. They come with an approach.”

Denson’s top attribute at the plate is his power bat. Most famously known for a 515 foot blast that he hit during the 2012 Power Showcase at Marlins Park in Miami, Denson doesn’t need to sell out for power, as the youngster has an easy swing that generates all the power he needs.

“I just let my hands and my hips work” he said. “God gave me a talent and I mainly just try to work through that. I don’t try to do too much. Stay within myself. Stay humble and just let my hands and my hips work.”

As for the upcoming season, Denson says he simply wants to showcase his skills on the diamond and let the chips fall where they may.

“I would say my main goal is to be the best that I can be” said Denson. “Show the coaches my talent, what I’m made of, and come out and have a good time. I’d say mainly just have fun and let my talent work and see where it takes me.”

We should find out in the next few days if Denson’s talent will take him to Class-A Wisconsin to begin the season at first base for the Timber Rattlers, or if he will spend some more time in Arizona in extended spring training before heading off to Helena. But Brewers fans everywhere are already buzzing about the young man’s power potential and will be sure to have a watchful eye tuned in to his progression as the season goes along.

BIG LEAGUIN’

Milwaukee wrapped up their exhibition season on Saturday, defeating the Kansas City Royals by a score of 7-2. Outfielder Logan Schafer continued his strong spring with a 3-for-4 performances that included a pair of runs batted in. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy also contributed a double that knocked in two. Starting pitcher Marco Estrada tossed five shutout innings for the Brewers. Minor League players Michael Ratterree, Kevin Mattison, Dutin Molleken, Elian Herrera and Irving Falu all saw action for Milwaukee. Ratterree provided the big highlight, a solo home run in his only at bat in the seventh inning. Falu also chipped in a double and scored a run in his lone plate appearance.

ON DECK

The Brewers minor leaguers were originally scheduled to play the Dodgers today, but instead played intrasquad contests this morning after the games against the Dodgers were scrapped. The players break camp tomorrow and over the next few days, rosters will be finalized and players will head off to each of Milwaukee’s four full-season affiliates in Nashville, Huntsville, Brevard County and Wisconsin. The remaining players will stay in Maryvale for Extended Spring Training until Helena and the Brewers AZL affiliate begin play in June.

Correction: Denson’s date of birth had previously been listed as 11/17/1995, but it was recently revealed that there was a typo and his actual date of birth is 1/17/1995, thus making him 19-years-old.

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