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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Jim Dennison impressed Red Sox scouts as a lefty; Saw four pro seasons, made high-A

The Red Sox really wanted Jim Dennison and they showed it with their final offer out of the 1989 draft, The Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum wrote

The Red Sox needed lefties, so they gave Dennison what he wanted, The Telegraph-Forum wrote.

"He's got a pitch that I like, a knuckle-curve," Red Sox scout Milt Bolling told The Telegraph-Forum. "In fact, that's a good itch. I'd like to see him pick up more velocity and he does that on occasion, but not enough yet. But he is a big, strong kid."

Though a lefty, Dennison never gained traction in the pros. He ultimately played four seasons. He topped out at high-A.

Dennison's career began that year in 1989, taken by the Red Sox in the 15th round of the draft out of Jacksonville State University in Alabama.

After a rocky start to college at Youngstown State, he later credited his coach at his new college, Jacksonville State, Rudy Abbott with helping him gain the confidence to get him to the pros.

"He helped me out tremendously," Dennison told The Mansfield News Journal in June 1989. "Coach Abbott brought me along slowly. He encouraged me. He brought about the change in me."

Dennison started with the Red Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League and at single-A Winter Haven. He went 4-4 over 16 outings, 10 starts, with a 3.61 ERA.

He then moved to short-season Elmira for 1990. He also saw time back at high-A Winter Haven. Overall, he went 7-4, with a 4.02 ERA. 

In January 1991, he spoke to The Telegraph-Forum about life in the minors. He called it a tough way of life.

"There's no stability," Dennison told The Telegraph-Forum. "You move from New York to Florida, but you just have to keep having good seasons. That's the only way you're going to make it."

Dennison played 1991 at high-A Lynchburg. He went 3-8, with a 3.38 ERA. He returned to Lynchburg for 1992. He went 4-8 there, with a 4.34 ERA. That season marked his last as pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,685
Made the Majors:1,255-34.1%
Never Made Majors:2,430-65.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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