- Full name Carl Andrew Henry
- Born 05/31/1986 in Oklahoma City, OK
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Putnam City
Drafted in the 1st round (17th overall) by the New York Yankees in 2005 (signed for $1,575,000).
View Draft ReportHenry comes from a basketball family. His father Carl twice led Kansas University in scoring and spent a season in the NBA and several more overseas. His mother Barbara also played for the Jayhawks. His younger brother Xavier is a top hoops prospect--as is C.J. But scouts aren't worried too much about Henry's signability because they believe he's a baseball player at heart and will turn pro if he goes early in the draft. Henry, who has attracted interest from the top basketball programs in the Big 12 Conference, has held off committing to a college until he sees how the baseball draft plays out. Henry has one of the highest ceilings in the draft, which should make him a first-round pick. He's an exceptional athlete with a tantalizing combination of power and speed. One crosschecker calls him a potential Gary Sheffield and also compares him to Vernon Wells. Henry's swing isn't as pure as Wells' and it will take him time to adjust to professional pitching, but he should take off once he gets acclimated and focuses full-time on baseball. Henry also will have to polish his defensive game. He plays shortstop now but may not have quite enough arm to play there in the majors. That's not a concern, however, because Henry's tools would play well either in center field or at third base.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Henry ranked No. 4 on the Yankees list last year before the club packaged him with lefthander Matt Smith, catcher Jesus Sanchez and righthander Carlos Monasterios in exchange for Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle. New York swayed Henry away from a future in basketball--which his parents both played at Kansas--with $1.75 million as the 17th overall pick in 2005, but the offensive results haven't shown up. Henry's best tools are his strength, bat speed and athleticism. He has well-above-average power, but his swing can get long and mechanical at times and he strikes out in bunches as a result. Some scouts think he's better suited for third base or a corner outfield spot down the road, as his arm rates as fringe-average and his body continues to fill out. There is still a lot of projection left with Henry, but the track record isn't there, particularly in translating his above-average raw power. Henry worked out at third base during instructional league and likely faces the position change when he returns to high Class A this year.
The Yankees needed a $1.575 million bonus to convince Henry that baseball, not basketball, was his future. Though he never signed a hoops scholarship, he would have been a recruited walk-on at Kansas, where his father Carl played before a brief NBA career. His mother Barbara also played for the Jayhawks, and his younger brother Xavier is a top basketball prospect. Henry is a premier athlete, already the best in the system. He has well-above-average raw power and is a plus runner. Despite his strong frame, he's athletic enough to stay at shortstop and impressed the Yankees with his defense in his debut. Henry's swing can get long and mechanical, and he may never hit for a high average. He'll need plenty of minor league at-bats to develop a better feel. If he moves off shortstop, it will be because of his fringe-average arm. Henry's athleticism, competitiveness and presence were too much for the Yankees to pass on. He'll head to low Class A for his first full season. New York is in no rush to find a new shortstop, so Henry will have to be patient.
Minor League Top Prospects
Henry, who could have followed in his father Carl's footsteps and played basketball at Kansas, has barely scratched the surface of his ability but has plenty of athleticism and five-tool potential. He's already 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds with tremendous speed, and he'll add legitimate power as he gets stronger and becomes more refined at the plate. His hitting ability is behind his other tools, but he generates outstanding bat speed and the ball jumps off his bat when he hits it solidly. Henry has outstanding feet and body control, as well as soft hands. He stays down well on balls, reads them well off the bat and has good first-step quickness. There's some question whether he'll remain at shortstop because he has a hitch in his throwing action.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Athlete in the New York Yankees in 2006