Prep Baseball Report

First Round Showdown

Doug Freeman
Florida Scouting Director

The state of Florida is always loaded with talent, but 2018 might have the most high-end talent the state has seen in quite a few years. Rarely is there multiple first-round arms from one state, let alone two in one district. That is the case of RHP Mason Denaburg (Merritt Island HS, FL) and RHP Carter Stewart (Eau Gallie HS, FL), who both play in 6A District 13. Both players were featured on Day One of the Preseason Classic, pumping up their already big hype heading into the spring season. Yesterday, the two matched up in a district showdown at Eau Gallie, and again did not disappoint.

Stewart would mostly dominate the Mustangs lineup for five innings. He struck out eight in the first three innings. While he would allow a run in the third on a Denaburg triple and a wild pitch, he also struck out eight. Working 93-95 mph the fastball continues to show more life, getting swing and miss after swing and miss, while also mixing in the plus curveball at 79-81 mph. A passed ball on a strikeout, an error, a base hit and a soft single led to the second run in the fourth and had the bases loaded with none out. Stewart would then proceed to strike out a hitter on his best curveball of the night at 85 mph, strike out the next hitter on his best fastball of the night at 96 mph and get a weak come-backer on a 92 mph fastball to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Denaburg came out throwing strikes early, flashing big velocity. He worked 92-95 touching a 97 and a 98 mph, while working the bottom of the zone. He has had some first inning command issues in the previous two outings we have seen, but that was never the case last night. The slider was working early and often, ranging between 77-81 mph. He would settle in around 91-93 mph after the first and looked to be working with very little effort, occasionally bumping 94 mph when he needed it. The slider continue to flash plus and he threw it often, for both strikes and for swings and misses. I saw one changeup at 85 mph, but he may have throw one or two more. The pitch has present fade and can see it being an average to above average pitch.

One indicator of how a pitch plays is the swing-and-miss rate. While I can say I did not get every single one, I tend to try to track as many as I can. Stewart has been widely known for his plus curveball, but as of late Denaburg’s slider has begun to flash plus. As for the fastball, Denaburg has been the one to flash bigger velocity numbers, with Stewart’s climbing.

Stewart would finish with a final line of five innings, allowing two runs, one earned, while striking out 13 and walking one. He induced 12 swings and misses on his fastball while inducing five on his curveball. Six of the strikeouts would be on the curveball and seven on the fastball.


Denaburg finished with a final line of six innings, no runs on three hits with no walks while striking  out 13. He induced 10 swings and misses on the fastball while also inducing nine swings and misses on his slider. Five of the strikeouts would be on the slider and eight would be on the fastball.


“I felt pretty good out there today," Denaburg said. "I just wanted to throw strikes and let them put the ball in play and let my defense work. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but had to stick to our approach and just have fun.”

RHP Nick Pogue would replace Stewart and is impressive in his own right. He struggled with his command and allowed two runs. He worked 90-92 mph and showed an above-average curveball at 78-80 mph and a changeup at 84 mph.

LHP Chase Victor relieved Denaburg in the seventh, allowing one run, but shut the door with the bases loaded to earn the save and give the Mustangs a 4-2 win over Eau Gallie.

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