Name: Randy Henry
DOB: May 10, 1990
Acquired: 2011 trade from Baltimore with INF Greg Miclat for C Taylor Teagarden
A native of Arnett, Olka. (pop. 524), right-hander Randy Henry initially signed a letter of intent to play his college baseball at Texas Tech. But Henry's plans changed when he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow prior to his senior campaign at Arnett High School.
After sitting out his senior campaign in high school, Henry went undrafted and ultimately chose to go the junior college route, signing with South Mountain CC in Phoenix. Although the injury limited him to only 11 innings during his freshman season, scouts were clearly impressed with his stuff.
Click here to view Henry's MLB.com draft scouting video from his freshman season at South Mountain CC.
The Baltimore Orioles selected him in the fourth round of the 2009 MLB Draft and signed him for a well-above slot $365,000 bonus.
Because Henry signed around the mid-August deadline in '09, he didn't appear in an official game until the 2010 season. The prospect appeared in 11 total games––all in relief––between short-season Aberdeen and Single-A Delmarva, posting a 5.64 earned-run average in 23 innings. He yielded 30 hits, walked six, and struck out 30.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound hurler was shut down with more elbow troubles in June 2010. While it was initially believed Henry would be headed for a second Tommy John surgery, doctors found that it was just scar tissue and he wouldn't need surgery.
Henry's rehab from the elbow inflammation sidelined him from game action until May of last season. Upon returning, he pitched extremely well in 20 relief appearances at Delmarva before earning a late-season promotion to High-A Frederick. Overall, he had a 2.22 ERA in 29 games and 52.2 innings. He allowed 48 hits while walking eight and fanning 40. Henry also induced more than two groundouts per flyout with the help of his sinking fastball.
The Rangers, who acquired Henry as part of the trade that sent catcher Taylor Teagarden to Baltimore earlier this offseason, certainly hope Henry's elbow troubles are a thing of the past after two incidents. The right-hander has excellent stuff and, if he stays healthy, has a chance to pitch in the major leagues.
Also See: Rangers acquire prospects for Teagarden (December 5, 2011)
Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball: Often preferring the more lively two-seam fastball to his four-seamer, Henry has a plus fastball with good velocity and movement. The pitch sat between 91-93 mph in 2011, touching the mid-90s in bursts. The natural sink on his heater helped him log more than two groundouts per flyout between the Low- and High-A levels last season. If the Rangers put Henry in the rotation this year, it'll be worth watching how well he holds his velocity deep into starts. Though the hurler has a solid frame, he has yet to start a professional game.
Other Pitches: Henry's most promising secondary pitch is his sharp slider, which projects to become a second plus offering. The late-breaking slider sits in the mid-80s and tops out a tick higher. Having worked out of the bullpen through his pro career thus far, his changeup is below-average, and it's a pitch he'll need to develop if he becomes a starter. Henry also mixes in a curveball when starting but hasn't used it often out of the bullpen.
Projection: Many scouts view the 21-year-old Henry as a reliever with setup potential due to his two plus pitches in his power fastball-slider combination. However, with a 6-foot-3 frame and a potentially deep repertoire, the Rangers may give Henry a crack at starting in 2012. The right-hander throws plenty of strikes-–he walked only eight batters in 52.2 innings last season––but if he starts, the development of a reliable third offering (the changeup) will be key. His injury history is also worth watching––he underwent Tommy John surgery in '08 and missed time each of the last two seasons.
2012 Outlook: Regardless of his role this season, Henry should begin the year at High-A Myrtle Beach. His ability to throw strikes with two advanced pitches should lead to success in the pitcher-friendly Carolina League. He could see Double-A Frisco at some point in 2012, but that will also depend on his role. Henry could move quickly if he remains in the bullpen, but if he slots into the rotation, he may spend the entire year in High-A while developing a third (and perhaps fourth) pitch.
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