Ty Hensley was the Yankees first round draft pick this year. He was considered a first round talent with talks of going higher than the Yankees took him. According to Jon Heyman the Rockies were set to take him as the 10th overall pick but when Dahl fell to the Rockies so Hensley started to fall.
The Yankees took Hensley with the 30th overall pick and are attempting to sign him right now. With the new CBA changing the draft this year the slot amount for that pick is 1.6 million but the Yankees have an overall draft pool of $4,192,200. The Yankees can go up to 5% over that amount without losing anything but money.
Hensley comes from a baseball family as his father was drafted 53rd overall in the 1988 draft to the Cardinals. He grew up in Oklahoma which has become a hotbed for starting pitching prospects over the last two years as Dylan Bundy who is in the running for best prospect in baseball. Archie Bradley is the other big Oklahoma product who was drafted last year and he will probably be the number one prospect for the Diamondbacks at the end of the year.
Physically Hensley resembles Bradley more than Bundy. Hensley comes in at 6’5” and 220 pounds which is prototypical pitcher that teams look for now. From video he looks to have thick powerful legs and broad shoulders. Both are very important especially in power pitchers because they can keep their velocity late into games.
What Hensley does have present stuff. According to Baseball Americas sources they have him sitting 92-95 touching as high as 97. Keith Law in his report on Hensley had 93-94 and had him as high as 98. In video I saw on Hensley he hit 93 and 94 when the video panned to the gun. Backing up the fastball is a very good curveball. Some reports have it as plus right now with it being better than a plus pitch later on.
Th video above was shot by Nick Faleris of http://www.diamondscapescouting.com/ . Nick is a great guy and I was able to chat with him about Hensley. Nick not only ran that site but is now a MLB associate scout for a MLB team. I chatted with him for a few minutes to get his opinion of Hensley. Here is what he had to say.
I asked him on his general thoughts on Hensley. Nick said” Sure, needs mechanical tweaks in order for stuff to get more consistent and command to develop. Upside is RH Kershaw. Plus raw stuff.”
Now on hearing this I was floored. Kershaw is one of the top 10 starters in baseball and for the Yankees to get that type of talent is amazing. Nick followed that statement up by saying. “but make clear the Kershaw comparison is an ultimate best-case and only with improvements. Kersh was better at same age.”
I asked if he thought Hensley should have gone top 10 in the draft? Nick said “no, could argue mid-round talent because of upside but there are significant risk factors.” He went on to say he thought he will get the amount of money he should.
Overall I believe that Hensley has a ton of upside. He appears to have the making of two plus pitches and if he can just have an average change up you’re talking about a guy with a number two ceiling. Hopefully Hensley signs soon so he can get some innings in before instructional. Expect the Yankees to be aggressive with Hensley and assign him to Low A to start the season. Hensley has the highest upside of any pitcher the Yankees have drafted since Phil Hughes if you exclude Gerritt Cole because he didn’t sign.