School: Rice University
Selected 2009 stats
Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)
Dustin Mattison (16): Vindicated! After being the sole panelist to rank Henley the past two years, Henley finally gets his due. The Rice product is a strong defender capable of playing all three outfield spots. On the basepaths, he displays slightly above average speed and good instincts. His arm is average but good enough for right field if needed.
At the plate, Henley displays good power to all fields and is very capable putting the ball over the fence as shown by his 13 home runs and .189 ISO. The 24-year-old controls the plate well and shows good pitch recognition. He drew 40 walks while logging only 64 strikeouts.
For his outstanding season, Henley was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he produced in limited action. In 60 at bats, he hit .300/.358/.500 with two home runs. A baseball player with a football mentality, remember his nickname is "Psycho T", he looks more like a fourth outfield type. But with his work ethic and a couple breaks, nothing would be surprising.
Message board community (21): Tyler Henley is breaking into The Cardinal Nation top 40 for the first time and doing so with one of the highest rankings of all new entrants. Henley was the most successful of all Cardinal hitters in this year's Arizona Fall League with a .300/.358/.500 line.
Henley has improved his hitting every year going from a .707 OPS in 2007, .803 in 2008, and .849 in 2009. Henley followed that up with a .858 OPS in the 2009 Arizona Fall League. His biggest improvements have been in BA and his power numbers. Henley is reportedly a strong defensive corner outfield who can even play center field in a pinch.
Henley should compete for a job in Memphis in 2010. It will be crowded there but unless he has a bad spring, he should stick there. Right now, the Cardinal system is lacking in left-handed outfielders so a strong start to the season could get Henley consideration for a call up during 2010. - CariocaCardinal
Brian Walton (20): Though his official status was as a member of his team's taxi squad, Henley saw semi-regular playing time for a period in the Arizona Fall League. Due to injuries to others, he played three to four times per week instead of taking the field on just Wednesday and Saturday.
His AFL manager, Andre David, had an extended look at the left-handed hitter for the first time this fall. Coming from the Kansas City Royals system, David offered a fresh perspective. "Henley has done a real good job here," David told me last month. "He has played in right. I think I DH'ed him once but mostly I put him in the outfield. His swing is real short and he has a good feeling for the strike zone."
I will be watching to see if Henley can distance himself from the other moderate-sized, corner-oriented, fourth-outfielder types at the higher levels of the system against whom he will directly compete in 2010.
Our 2010 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.
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