Scouting Yankees Prospect #17: Ty Hensley

The Yankees drafted right-handed pitcher Ty Hensley in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Edmond Santa Fe High School in Oklahoma. He's been productive on the mound when he's been healthy enough to pitch but his problem has been being able to stay on the mound for any length of time and recently had another setback after having Tommy John surgery in April.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Ty Hensley
Position: Pitcher
DOB: July 30, 1993
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right


Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2014

Staten Island

0-0

0

11.2

11

2

17

3.86

2014

GCL Yankees

0-0

0

19.0

16

9

23

2.37

2012

GCL Yankees

1-2

0

12.0

8

7

14

3.00



Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. Power-wise Hensley had it going on when he first entered professional baseball, sitting mostly in the 92-95 mph range and topping out at 97 mph with his four-seam fastball. However, whether it was due to all of the time missed with his ailing hips or shoulder abnormalities, the fact that he pitched so little over the course of his first three years [he amassed just 42.2 innings since his selection] had his velocity creeping down more to the 91-94 mph range. He began hitting 96 mph more routinely late last season after he finally started building up his innings again. All of that time missed also has his once stellar fastball command slipping down to the average realm too.

Other Pitches. The other downfall with all of the missed development time has been the slow progression of his changeup. An average big league offering, showing adequate fade and depth, it just hasn't been able to make the needed advancements from a consistency standpoint. The bright side to his most recent Tommy John surgery, if one can find the silver lining in his latest surgical procedure, is that the changeup should be the first pitch to make the most progress upon his return in 2016 and it happens to be the pitch that needs the most work anyway. The one steady weapon in his arsenal over the years and through all of the various ailments has been his plus curveball. A true swing and miss pitch, it sits mostly 80-82 mph and it is the pitch he can command consistently. It remains to be seen if the breaking ball, however, will remain a plus pitch upon his return from Tommy John surgery since it will be the last offering he will be allowed to bring back in his rehab.

Pitching. At his core Hensley is a power pitcher who attacks batters with his fastball earlier in counts, gets ahead, and then goes to the wipeout curveball for the strikeout. His hip abnormalities in his earlier days never really allowed him to have a consistent fluid deliver that's needed to command his fastball the way that it should but it started being rectified before his latest Tommy John setback. Mentally he's as tough as they come and his constant battle fighting physical ailments is proof positive of that. And despite his lack of professional experience, ironically he shows an advanced feel for pitching and he's extremely coachable.

Projection. It wasn't all that long ago that Hensley had the ceiling of a potential 'ace' starting pitcher at the big league level given his plus fastball, plus curveball combination and high mental makeup. The continued progression of his changeup and further refinement of his delivery were both needed for him to fulfill that kind of lofty potential, and that's where the slew of injuries have now created a major hiccup in his long-term projection. He still has that kind of ceiling even now despite all of the missed time already and the time he's going to miss in 2015 and the early part of 2016 with his Tommy John surgery, but now the odds against reaching that level of performance have gone up exponentially. Hensley is very much in the Jose Campos camp as a high-ceiling starting pitcher type who now may need to be forced fed up the minor league ladder as a reliever when and if he's healthy enough to return just to make up for lost time. His most likely projection at this point with the Yankees is that of a future big league setup man or closer type, and even that kind of role will depend on how much the power comes back in his fastball.

ETA. N/A. With Hensley being as hurt so early and often as he has with the Yankees he might be the first pitcher in quite some time where a realistic big league arrival time couldn't even be estimated, and still really can't. He will need to pitch in the long-season leagues [a feat he hasn't accomplished yet] first before an actual ETA can be deduced, and that may not happen until the second-half of the 2016 season.


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