Denson displays prodigious power

Denson displays prodigious power

Brewers first-base prospect David Denson made history on Saturday by becoming the first active player with a big league organization to reveal he's gay.

While Denson's announcement in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel could overshadow his playing ability, he's also notable for having some of the best raw power in the Brewers' system. Ranked No. 27 on MLBPipeline.com's Brewers Top 30 Prospects list, he's compiled a .229/.313/.360 slash line with five home runs in 65 games this season between low Class A Wisconsin and Rookie-level Helena.

Denson, who is 6-foot-3 and 254 pounds, signed for $100,000 as a 15th-round Draft pick out of South Hills High in West Covina, Calif., in 2012. The left-handed slugger showed off his ability to crush baseballs that January, when he won the annual Power Showcase home run derby at Marlins Park. His longest blast traveled 515 feet and struck the video board in right-center, setting a still-standing distance record for the 10-year history of the event.

Watch: Denson's 515-foot homer

Though he has prodigious raw power, Denson has struggled to translate it into games as a pro. He has struggled in his first two attempts to handle low Class A pitching and is back in Rookie ball in his third pro season. He has trouble making consistent contact, which has resulted in a stat line of .238/.353/.375 with 15 homers and 204 strikeouts in 181 Minor League games.

He's a below-average runner and defender who has seen time in the outfield corners but will likely be limited to first base. Denson's bat will have to carry him if he's to reach the Majors. Even if he doesn't, he will have a lasting legacy in baseball.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.