Yankees Take Power Arm With Top Pick
The last time the Yankees took a high school pitcher in the first round he didn't sign. Instead, Gerrit Cole
went to UCLA and three years later was selected No. 1 overall by the Pirates
Now, four years after Cole left them hanging in the 2008 draft, the Yankees selected Ty Hensley
, a righthander from Santa Fe High in Edmond, Okla.
"We're excited to get a guy with such a high ceiling. 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," Yankees amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer
said. "He's demonstrated a quality makeup and has shown himself to be a hard worker, which makes him a quality pick for us."
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Hensley posted off-the-chart numbers this season. He was 10-0, 1.52 in 11 games. In 55 innings he allowed 23 hits, fanned 111 and walked just 28. Hensley has committed to Mississippi next year.
According to a scout who saw Hensley this year, his fastball touches 95 mph and averages between 92 and 93. His best secondary pitch is an above-average curveball and his changeup is average.
High school pitchers haven't been an obsession for the Yankees. Before Cole, Phil Hughes
in 2004 was their last high school hurler taken with the first pick. Prior to Hughes it was Brandon Weeden
in 2002 (from the same high school as Hensley) and Mark Prior
It's the second straight year the Yankees took a high school player with their first pick whose father played professionally. Last June, the Yankees selected Dante Bichette Jr.
out of Orangewood Christian High near Orlando. His father, Dante
, was a big league outfielder for the Angels, Brewers, Rockies, Reds and Red Sox.
Hensley's father, Mike
, was drafted twice. In 1985, the righthander out of Latta High in Ada, Okla., was taken in the third round but opted to pitch for Oklahoma. Three years later the Cardinals took Mike in the second round. By 1990 Mike Hensley's minor league career was over. In three seasons, none of which were higher than Single-A, Mike Hensley was 10-11, 4.17 in 34 games (29 starts).