Red Sox prospect Jon Denney arrested for violating driver's license restrictions

March 14, 2014 - 1:42 pm
Red Sox minor league catcher Jon Denney was arrested in Fort Myers early on Thursday morning for violating restrictions on his driver's license. According to Yahoo! Sports, which first reported the arrest, Denney proved crude when initially issued a citation and then confrontational when the police made the arrest, with the police report (according to Yahoo!) saying that the 19-year-old responded to the arrest by professing his invincibility. From the report:

According to police, Denney said "he was a Boston Red Sox player and he didn't care [sic] he had money and made more money than we would ever see." When handcuffed, the report said, Denney said "he would be out in no time because of who he played for and that he made three million a year."

Boston drafted Denney, a catcher, in the third round of last season'€™s draft out of Yukon (Okla.) High. He signed for $875,000. Players in Class A, where Denney is expected to start the season, make a little more than $1,000 a month.

The Yahoo! Sports report further detailed that Denney's license was restricted due to an alleged (but unconfirmed) DUI, and that he'd also been arrested in December in Arkansas for disorderly conduct, being a minor in possession of alcohol and littering. Denney was released on $500 cash bond. The Red Sox released the following statement about the report: "The Red Sox are aware of the incident involving Jon Denney. At present, we are still gathering more information. At this time the club will make no further comment." The team is likely to make a decision on how to proceed with Denney by this weekend -- a decision that will be not merely about his playing future but perhaps more importantly about trying to get him the necessary help. Denney was selected by the Red Sox in the third round of the 2013 draft. He'd been viewed as a potential candidate for selection in the first round out of Yukon (Okla.) High School due to his long track record as one of the top high school players in the country (he played for Team USA after his junior year) that suggested potential as a catcher who could hit for well above-average power. But his draft stock slipped during his senior year due to a combination of signability questions and concerns about on-field performance during his senior year. He signed for $875,000 -- a figure in line with a second-round selection -- and in 26 games in the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League, hit .203 with a .379 OBP, .243 slugging mark and three extra-base hits (all doubles) in 96 plate appearances. However, makeup questions did emerge during his pro debut, raising questions about the likelihood that he would reach his considerable potential. The multiple arrests in a span of months obviously makes those questions even more pointed.