With the 30th pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, the New York Yankees selected right handed pitcher Ty Hensley from Santa Fe High School in Edmond, OK. Hensley, 18, is a big kid at 6-4 and 220 pounds and features a plus fastball, a 12-6 curveball, and changeup. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s and he has been clocked as high as 97-98 MPH. However, he will need to work on the command of his fastball as is often the case with tall pitchers with velocity like Hensley’s.
Hensley was ranked 23rd on Baseball America’s list of top 500 prospects and was ranked the 11th best pitcher. As a senior at Santa Fe High School, Hensley recorded 111 strikeouts in 55.1 innings and posted a 1.52 ERA while going 10-0. He was named the 2012 Gatorade “Baseball Player of the Year.” During his interview with the MLB Network after being drafted Hensley said, “I model my game after Roger Clemens with my mechanics, but I try to be like Roy Halladay by being efficient.” Those are some lofty comparisons even for someone who has never thrown a pitch in professional baseball. However, Damon Oppenheimer, vice president of scouting for the New York Yankees said, “He has the ideal body for a high school pitcher, as well as power stuff, and has the ability to be a high-end starter.”
Hensley reminds me a little of Phil Hughes, a kid with plus stuff and similar size coming out of high school. His velocity is also very similar as is his 12-6 curveball. Right now some Yankee fans might be a little unimpressed with a comparison to Phil Hughes but remember that Hughes was once considered one of the top prospects in baseball.
Hensley has committed to Ole Miss but has publicly stated he would sign in the right situation. That translates to “if the money is right.” The Yankees have been slotted $1.6 million by Major League Baseball for this pick. Hensley will need to work on his fastball command and be more consistent in his delivery. Even with those concerns, the Yankees got themselves a possible impact pitcher with serious upside. Not too bad for the 30th overall pick.