Rebel Or Yankee?

By now, Ty Hensley's heard them all. Comparing the MLB first-round draft pick and Oklahoma high school phenom to another Sooner state native, Mickey Mantle, is but one of them.

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"That's something they brought up," he said of the New York Yankees organization, which drafted him earlier this month as the 30th overall pick. Hensley remains unsigned, however.

But this isn't about him being the "next" anyone. This is about Ty Hensley, the 6-foot-5 right-hander who went 10-0 with a 1.52 ERA as a senior at Sante Fe High School in Edmond, striking out 111 batters in 55 and a third innings, and being named Gatorade Oklahoma Baseball Player of the Year.

And it's about Ole Miss Rebel signee, Ty Hensley. Thus there's still a decision to make.

Prior to this year, it was either the start of fall classes, or more recently a date in mid-August, that a player had to decide – college or pro. Now it's a month earlier. July 13 is decision day 2012.

Rebel? Or Yankee?

"It could (happen before July 13)," Hensley said. "I think I'll resolve it before then."

It could have been resolved before now, but what's the rush? This is a lifetime decision, and there is until July 13 if needed.

"All it's about now is just the decision I make, what do I really want to do and what's best for me and my future," he said. "I've just got to figure out whether it's time to go play (pro baseball), or if I need a few more years to develop and get better. And to keep hitting. Maybe I'm actually a hitter instead of a pitcher. You never know. I've just got to make a good call."

He batted .447 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI this season in high school.

Ty Hensley
File Photo

Hensley said anything like the figure he wants, the amount the Yankees are offering, or any details of a potential contract are all within a closed circle of people.

"I haven't told anybody that information," he said. "That's just pretty much my family and the Yankees."

He keeps in touch with the Yankees. He's also kept in close contact with the coaches in Oxford.

"I talk to Ole Miss all the time, more often than weekly, but not quite daily," he said. "Definitely quite a bit. I have pretty good contact with both (the Rebels and the Yankees.)

"I talk to Coach (Mike) Bianco, but the guy I talk to the most is Coach Laff (Carl Lafferty)," Hensley continued. "As far as people go, it doesn't get much better than that. He's an awesome, awesome guy, and my family loves him and loves all the people there at Ole Miss. I talk to Coach Laff the most."

Hensley said the month of June has been good since he was drafted.

"I'm enjoying it," he said. "It's a good time to spend time with my family regardless of what I do. It's good to have some down time and also get my body in better shape. I'm just working out a lot, throwing bullpens, and hitting in the cage. I'm just trying to fine-tune my game and work on some things."

And all the while keep things in perspective. He understands the opportunities he's been afforded, and he's worked for years to get to this point.

"It's exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time," he said. "But at the end of the day, how blessed am I to even be in this situation where all this is even possible? That's how I have to think about it.

"How many people get to sign to go play ball at Ole Miss, the greatest place on earth, and also get a chance to be drafted in the first round by the New York Yankees?" Hensley concluded. "That's pretty special to me. Either way I go it's not wrong or a bad decision. Hopefully pretty soon I can make the call and let everybody know."

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