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PG National - Day 2 Recap
Patrick Ebert        
Published: Friday, June 17, 2011

Hensley continues Oklahoma's talent flow

Historically the 2011 draft class for the state of Oklahoma will be hard to beat. Not only did Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley go fourth and seventh overall respectively, but Michael Fulmer and Adrian Houser went in the supplemental first and second rounds respectively.

Edmond, Oklahoma's Ty Hensley will help keep the in-state pitching talent flowing next year, and certainly took notice of Bundy and Bradley's accomplishments this spring.

“We're actually friends,” Hensley said in response to how close he was to two of the stars of the 2011 draft class. “I went to their draft party. It was a pretty cool experience, hopefully I can get there myself. It is definitely something to work your butt off for.”

And you can see the results from his hard work. Hensley participated at the 2010 Junior National Showcase, where he worked in the upper-80s with his fastball. On this day he threw 92-94 easily, with a hard upper-70s curveball. He struck out five batters in his two innings of work, including Albert Almaro and Carlos Correa swinging on 93 mph fastballs.

“Physically maturing helped a lot,” Hensley said of his improvement over the last year. “I've definitely been working a lot more. I've changed my work ethic completely, from running to lifting.”

Having big name prospects close to home has helped, but so has attending notable events across the country. He travels with the Southeast Texas Sun Devils along with teammates and fellow Perfect Game National participants Gavin Cecchini and Stryker Trahan.

Similar to many of the players located here in Fort Myers, Hensley will spend several weeks away from home. His next stops include the Tournament of Stars competition in North Carolina, where he will compete for a spot to play with Team USA, and then a trip to Marietta, Georgia to take part in the WWBA 17U National Championship. But his travels began in Florida.

“I went to the Junior National last year, and all of the best players were there,” said Hensley. “Why not compete against the best talent around you to see how you stack up against them?”

Workout session recap

Two records were broken as part of the infield drills.  Lance McCullers threw 98 across the diamond, and Jacob Waguespack threw 92 from first.

In addition, six teams (Columbia Blue, Gold, Gray, Green, Maroon, Navy) took to the auxiliary field to take part in the Rawlings Home Run Challenge as well as running a preliminary 60-yard dash in preparation for Saturday night's final competition.

Eric Neitzel continued his power stroke from Thursday by blasting 11 home runs.  He also flashed his speed by posting a 6.89 60-time.

Boomer White was in the same power/speed category, swatting eight home runs while running the 60 in 6.70 seconds.

Mitchell Traver hit eight home runs as well, Tanner Rahier hit seven, Austin Dean with six and Jesse Winker had five.

Steven Golden posted the best speed in the 60 at 6.51 seconds.  Andrew Velazquez and Cameron Dishon were impressive as well with times of 6.55 and 6.66.

To view all of the workout results, be sure to visit the Perfect Game National Showcase
blog.

Lasting impressions

Star power at the plate in batting practice was evident today with four more teams arriving in Fort Myers. The most notable performances will be listed first before getting to the game action.

• C.J. Hinojosa and Josh Henderson put on a spectacular back-to-back power display.

Hinojosa, a right-handed hitter, slugged three out on four swings to left-centerfield. He saved his best connection for last, a pitch he turned on and hammered high and deep over the left-field wall.

Henderson, a left-handed hitter, arrived late on Day 1, but did hit a ball in game action that just missed squeaking inside the right-field foul pole. He made up for that miss today, launching several shots over the right-field wall as the ball exploded off of his bat with arguably the most impressive round of BP so far.

• Joey Gallo has arguably the most power potential of any player in attendance, as the ball sails to all parts of the field with ease. He may not have hit as many home runs as Hinojosa and Henderson, but the ones he did hit seemed to travel farther than anyone else's.

• Jesmuel Valentin, Tomas Nido and Cristian Munoz, Puerto Rican teammates on the Red squad, all hit the ball consistently hard during BP. Valentin is the son of former big-league infielder Javier, and has a similar profile with power from both sides of the plate. Both Nido, a right-handed hitter, and Munoz, a left-handed hitter, are primary catchers that showed promising bat speed.  Nido  and Munoz also stood out among the catchers in the defensive drills.

• A handful of notable hitters didn't draw 'oohs' and 'ahs' as some of the hitters listed above did, but they did have at least one impressive shot to their credit. Rock Rucker hit an absolute bomb; Carson Kelly had a nice drive over the left-centerfield wall; Addison Russell took a few swings to warm up, but had a similar drive to left-center; Rhett Wiseman drove the ball consistently hard; Dalton DiNatale peppered the ball to both alleys before hitting a ball high and deep to right; Trey Williams hit a laser to left-center; Ruben Ybarra yanked one high and deep down the left-field line on his last swing; On his second to last swing, Vahn Bozoian did the same.

• While he didn't hit one out, Corey Seager had a very impressive BP, driving the ball up the middle and deep to both alleys with a smooth, rhythmic left-handed swing.

• Kyle Moore hit the first home run in game action in Game 4. He turned on an upper-80s fastball and crushed the pitch, going 2-for-2 in the contest. He also showed one of the best arms from the outfield during the drills on Thursday, and is making a solid impression overall.

• Trey Williams notched the second home run in game action, showing off his lightning quick bat speed by drilling an outside fastball over the right-centerfield wall to open the second inning of Game 7.  That hit created quite the stir within the stadium, with several pointing out in their own way that most big-leaguers wouldn't even be able to hit the ball the way Williams did.

• Jesse Winker continues to show one of the better approaches and left-handed swings, lacing an opposite field double off of Dalton Brown in Game 5.

• In the same game, Jake Cosart was 2-for-2 including a double he smoked to left-center.

• In the last game of the evening, Avery Romero stretched a triple by hitting a booming shot off the base of the wall in right-centerfield.

• Taylore Cherry, along with Hensley, had one of the best pitching performances on the day. He came out firing, sitting consistently at 92 while touching as high as 94. He threw mostly fastballs, but did mix in several upper-70s curveballs and a few mid-70s changeups. He showed very good rhythm for his size, repeated his delivery well, threw strikes and ended up striking out five of the seven batters he faced.

• Tanner Rahier continues to show his talents, lacing a hard run-driving single in Game 6 while also throwing 92-93 from the mound and striking out a pair in his inning of work.

• Dalton Brown started Game 5 for the Maroon squad and looked strong over his two innings of work. He offers a sturdy, 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame and sat in the 90-91 range with his heavy fasball.

• Robert Whalen showed similar size and stuff to Brown, working in the 88-91 range with movement. Both pitchers showed a promising three-pitch (fastball/curveball/changeup) repertoire.

• Game 6, and the Gray team in particular, had several pitchers stand out. Left-hander Anthony Seise showed easy arm strength, sat at 88-90 and touched 91 a few times.

• Grayson Long stood out for one of the more projectable frames of the pitchers in attendance, to go along with one of the nicer deliveries. He kept the ball down pitching downhill, and sat at 89-91. His changeup showed good fade thrown with the same arm action as his fastball, and his slurvy curve has promise.

• Left-hander Chase Mullins started the day off in Game 4 for Columbia Blue, and like fellow lefty Brett Lilek the day before, he showed strong command of a three-pitch arsenal and one of the best approaches to pitching of those in attendance. He sat in the upper-80s with his fastball and was able to put it where he wanted, pitching off of his heater to set up his mid-70s curve.

• Righty Edwin Diaz pitched in the same game for Columbia Blue, with an athletic, live frame and an equally live arm. He threw mostly 90-91 fastballs touching 92, with some boring action in on right-handed batters . He struck out four while facing the minimum over his two innings of work.

Along with Texas Orange teammate Trey Williams, left-handed pitcher Dylan Silva got the night games off to a good start by striking out the first six batters he faced, and seven in total thanks to a runner reaching on a wild pitch and a single by Dylan Dore. Jameis Winston, Lance McCullers, Addison Russell, Joey Gallo were among those retired via strikeout as part of an impressive lineup for the Red team. Silva worked in the 86-88 range, touched 90 and threw a nice sweeping slurve in the upper-70s.

• The first three pitchers of the last game of the evening (after rain poured down on the field in the middle of Game 7) showed very good arms.

Left-hander Cory Geisler was very sharp and efficient to open the game.  He threw in the upper-80s with his best pitch being a sharp mid-70s curveball.  He also threw an effective changeup.

Right-hander Walker Buehler matched Geisler's curveball and then some.  He showed the ability to add and subtract off of the pitch, and the opposing hitters had no chance timing it.  His fastball also looked good, starting in the upper-80s with movement and topping out at 92.  He used a 92, 91 and 92 fastball to retire Nick Williams swinging, keeping his curve in his back pocket.  He struck out five batters in his two innings of work.

Another right-hander, Ty Buttrey, was up next, and offered a tall, slender yet strong, projectable frame.  His first pitch registered at 92, and he sat in the 89-91 range with an easy delivery and plenty of reason to think he's going to be throwing harder before too long.  His curve was pretty sharp as well thrown in the upper-80s.

Be sure to visit Jeff Dahn's player features on Clate Schmidt, Matthew Smoral and Taylore Cherry, as well as Nick Williams.

Contributing: Jeff Dahn.



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