2012 mlb draft

Meet the Top Yankees Draft Pick: Ty Hensley

Star prep pitcher Ty Hensley starts for the American squad at the 2011 Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, held at Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois.
Ty Hensley.

With the 30th overall pick in yesterday’s Major League Baseball Draft, the Yankees selected Ty Hensley, an 18-year-old right-handed pitcher out of Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Oklahoma. The Sports Section’s Oklahoma high-school baseball correspondent has the day off, so we’ll defer here to Baseball America:

Hensley has baseball bloodlines and has a fastball that has touched 97, helping him rank No. 23 on the BA 500. He also has a plus curveball that might be a better pitch than his fastball. He’ll need some time to add some polish and improve his command but he has more than just big stuff. He’s bilingual (he speaks Spanish) and scouts like his work ethic and makeup.

Hensley’s father, Michael, was drafted by the Cardinals with the 53rd pick in the 1988 Draft — one spot behind Dave Silvestri — but never made it to the majors. The word on Ty, however, is that he’s got a high ceiling: Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus called the Yankees’ pick “highway robbery” and when asked whether he could potentially be a mid-rotation pitcher, Goldstein said that his ceiling is higher than that. That’s how the Yankees see things, as well: Said Damon Oppenheimer, the team’s vice-president of amateur scouting: “We’re excited to get a guy with such a high ceiling.” (It’s at this point we remind you that it takes years to really analyze a baseball draft, so make of the initial analysis what you will.)

In his senior year this season, the 6 foot, 5 inch Hensley went 10-0 with a 1.52 ERA, struck out 111 batters in just 55 and a third innings, and was named the Gatorade Oklahoma “Baseball Player of the Year.” For what it’s worth, he can hit as well — he batted .447  with ten homers and 41 RBI this season — and played quarterback on his school’s football team. He also has something in common with the Mets’ top draft pick: He’d committed to play at Ole Miss, though according to the Daily News, he’s said he’s open to signing in the right situation. (Via River Avenue Blues, the recommended bonus for this slot is $1.6 million. Under the new CBA, the Yankees have roughly $4.2 million to spend on bonuses for their top eleven picks, and exceeding that amount would result in harsh penalties.)

What else do we know about Hensley? Via MLB.com, his favorite pregame meal is from Chipotle, and his favorite movie is Bull Durham. As far as rankings go, Goldstein had him as the 19th best prospect in the draft, Baseball America had him at 23rd, MLB.com ranked him 26th, and Keith Law of ESPN.com had him 36th. And if you’d like to play scout based on a handful of pitches, feel free to do so after watching this Baseball America video of Hensley in action:

Meet the Top Yankees Draft Pick: Ty Hensley