Name: Ty Hensley
DOB: July 30, 1993
Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball. When he's been healthy enough to pitch [which admittedly hasn't been often at all] Hensley had shown a plus fastball that had sat mostly 92-95 mph and reportedly topped out as high as 97 mph as an amateur but because of his inability to stay on the field for any length of time that velocity has been mostly 91-94 mph in his brief 'healthy' time with the Yankees. Still, he's popped some 96s in pinstripes even as recent as late 2014 [the last time he was 'fully healthy'] so it's not far-fetched to believe that the velocity will make a full return once he's back up on the mound full-time again. He has shown above average control of his fastball and at least average command too, thanks in large part to a relatively solid delivery for somebody who has so little actual professional mound experience and had limited range of motion with defective hips prior to his first surgery. Getting some more innings under his belt and building up his arm strength will be key though in resurrecting what once was [and most likely still should be] a plus fastball.
Other Pitches. The one real aspect of Hensley's game that has not fluctuated one iota and what makes him still very intriguing is his plus big league curveball. Not only does it sit a powerful 80-82 mph with great late-biting action, but it's also the pitch he still has the most confidence in and command of, even to this day. It's a true swing and miss pitch. However, given his dearth of innings over the years and now coming back from Tommy John surgery, considering the breaking ball is the last thing to be introduced back into a rehab pitcher's repertoire, even that aspect of his game is now a wait and see proposition. Where all the injuries have really hurt Hensley's game the most is with his third pitch; the changeup. An average big league pitch before his latest injury setback, ironically his Tommy John surgery could almost be a blessing in disguise as most pitchers coming back from the injury have ample time to develop that pitch in particular. It had shown long-term plus potential and his latest rehab could help it get there sooner.
Pitching. Style-wise Hensley is a true power pitcher, one who attacks batters with hard heat early and often and then has the nasty curveball to put away batters. It remains to be seen if he will still have that approach upon his full return but with now armed with surgically repaired hips -- he wasn't able to throw with the kind of power or command he could have had prior to his hip surgery -- and with a brand new elbow ligament [he actually had none left by the time he had his Tommy John surgery in March of 2015], chances are he will be able to let loose better than ever. While there are some obvious physical question marks to some degree considering all of the injuries he has sustained in his brief career, what is no longer in question is his work ethic and tenacity. Just having to put in all of the work he's had to during his rehabs alone is proof positive of the desire he has and there are many that believe that his high-character makeup before all of the surgeries will only be heightened upon his return.
Projection. Hensley's big league projection, much like his development to date, is a bit messy. He entered the professional ranks with the ceiling of a potential 'ace' starting pitcher, thanks to his plus fastball, plus curveball combination and tremendous makeup. In a lot of ways he still very much has that kind of ceiling even to this day, especially now that he has been re-built physically; he has new hips and a new pitching elbow. In fact, physically he will be able to do a lot more things he wasn't able to do prior to his surgeries and combining that with the fact that his changeup should theoretically be better than ever after all of his rehabs, ironically he might be better equipped to tap that kind of ceiling. However, four years into his career and with barely 40 professional innings under his belt he also has to fight against a proverbial ticking clock. He has essentially used up any mulligans he had when he began his career and another injury setback could be devastating; the developmental leash will be shorter than ever. He has setup man or closer type stuff if the Yankees decided to accelerate his track that way but stuff-wise there might be too much to give up on in a starting capacity too. He has viable long-term role flexibility even if his injury history dictates which road the organization takes.
ETA. N/A. Hensley will need to pitch in the long-season leagues [a feat he still 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. Like the Mets' Steven Matz [he missed his first three professional seasons with injuries], once he makes a full return though he has the kind of game that could move pretty quickly.