Draft : : Top Prospects
Monday, April 02, 2012

Draft Focus: Ty Hensley

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game
Every weekday leading up to the 2012 MLB Draft, Perfect Game will be providing a scouting profile on a notable draft-eligible prospect.  Stay tuned to Perfect Game and be sure to visit the Draft Page for all of the latest info and reports pertaining to the draft.

Ty Hensley Perfect Game profile

Position: RHP
Height: 6-5
Weight: 220
Bats/Throws: B/R
Birthdate: July 30, 1993
High School: Santa Fe
City, State: Edmond, Okla.
Travel Team: Texas Sun Devils
Commitment: Mississippi
Projected Draft Round: 1S, 2

Perhaps it was inevitable that Ty Hensley was going to become a pitching prospect, as his father Michael was a third round pick of the Astros out of Latta (Okla.) High School in 1985 and a second round pick of the Cardinals out of the University of Oklahoma in 1988 (he career ended after three minor league seasons due to arm injuries).

But when Hensley first came to a Perfect Game event after his sophomore season at Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe High School, the 2010 National Junior Showcase, he came as a C/3B/OF/RHP and went through drills at every position. The idea of a 6-foot-5, 220-pound switch-hitting catcher was exciting, but here are my notes from Hensley’s trip to the mound at that event:

FB: 88-89, CB: 78, Chg: 80, Simple leg raise delivery, short stride/front side, throws downhill, leans off direction to get arm thru, good arm strength, hard nasty CB bite at times, short arm in back, inconsistent release, kept arm speed on change, mixed pitches/good command, like as RHP!

Hensley was up into the low-90s later that summer and the conversion to primary pitcher, secondary player moved forward quickly.

Hensley uses his height very well on the mound and many a young pitcher could learn from the angle he creates on his pitches, which compares with that shown by fellow 2012 prospects Walker Weickel and Zach Elfin from Florida. He has loose leg raise start to his delivery and a short stride out front but gets over his front side very well most of the time. Hensley has done a good job of lengthening out his arm action over the last two years, as he understandably had a more compact catcher’s type release earlier in his pitching career, and comes through from an over the top release slot with a bit of lean off the plate. He does have a tendency to land a bit cross body, which can cause problems on his balance and consistency.

Velocity is not an issue with Hensley and he’s consistently in the low-90s with his fastball and tops out at 94-95 mph. He doesn’t get much movement on the pitch and has yet to learn how to work in low in the strike zone consistently, a challenge when you’re 6-foot-5 and throwing from a tall over the top release point. But Hensley has shown command to both sides of the plate with the pitch and is around the plate consistently.

Hensley’s best pitch is a 78 mph hard downer curveball that he gets over very well and generates hard spin and 12-to-6 shape. The angle of his curveball and the break make it a very hard pitch to square up and Hensley has shown good feel for throwing it for strikes. He also throws a change up but is still developing feel and consistency for that pitch.

Hensley’s ability with the bat is something that scouts might not focus on too closely but that could potentially come into play. He has signed with Ole Miss and has the ability to be a middle of the order run producer as a RHP/DH at the college level with some development and repetitions offensively. Hensley will struggle with contact occasionally with his height and long levers, but has plus power, especially from the left side, and has consistently hit quality pitching hard on the showcase circuit and at WWBA national events.

Michael Hensley was the 66
 overall pick in the 1985 draft out of high school, which would be an early second round pick in 2012, but was a mid-third round pick that year. It looks very possible that his son might eclipse that draft position.

Perfect Game events attended:

    2009 WWBA Underclass World Championship
    2010 Jr National Showcase
    2011 18U WWBA Memorial Day Classic
    2011 National Showcase
    2011 WWBA 2011 Grads or 18u National Championship
    2011 WWBA 2012 Grads or 17u National Championship
    2011 17U BCS Finals
    2011 WWBA South Qualifier
    2011 WWBA World Championship
    2012 Coach Bob Invitational

Copyright 1994-2018 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.