Yanks make RHP Ty Hensley their first-round pick

2012 Draft: Day One LiveBlog
R.J. Baker pulls a Chris Davis in Triple-A win

With the 30th pick of tonight’s amateur MLB draft, the Yanks went for the highest ranked player still on the board as they selected right-handed pitcher Ty Hensley in the first round. Hensley, 18, is a 6-foot, 5-inch, 220-pounder out of Santa Fe High School in Edmond, OK, and was 23rd on Baseball America’s top 500 list. In a capsule write-up a few months back, Mike noted Hensley’s mid-90s fastball, a change and a curve. He can push that fastball up to 97.

During his interview on MLB Network after the selection, Hensley spoke about his influences and cited both Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay. He also mentioned his pre-start Chipotle ritual. Kevin Goldstein called the pick “highway robbery,” and the Yanks are high on his future. As a high school senior, Hensley struck out 111 in 55.1 innings and went a perfect 10-0 with a 1.52 ERA. We’ll have much more shortly.

2012 Draft: Day One LiveBlog
R.J. Baker pulls a Chris Davis in Triple-A win
  • AP

    Love this pick. Upside and more upside, exactly what you want out of a first round pick.

    • Havok9120

      Especially so late in the 1st round.

  • MB

    His hitting stats are also very impressive. Maybe he’s like Micac Owings (hopefully with a bit more success on the mound in the majors if he makes it lol)

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Who the heck knows if Hesley will pan out but I like the idea of selecting a big HS arm with a really high ceiling rather than playing it safe.

  • http://twitter.com/EricDKoch eric

    Like his mechanics a lot. No crazy red flags off the bat. Very smooth, over the top, with a nice angle to the plate.

  • Jesse

    I like this pick. Good selection, Yanks.

  • forensic

    I have no idea how many games they play in HS, but 55 innings over a full season seems awfully low for some reason.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Eh well he’s a teenager throwing mid 90s, it’s good he’s doesn’t have a lot of mileage.

    • Bo Knows

      Not really, in a lot of states now there are mandatory limits to how many innings (and pitches) a person can throw. A HS baseball season is only going to be a few months so its right in line with that. Honestly it probably feels so short because your used to college and Pro-ball seasons where guys are throwing 100-115 innings (college) and 180-200+ innings (pro ball)

    • Havok9120

      HS games in most areas are only 6-7 innings to begin with. Add in the mercy rule and the fact that the season lasts only a couple months and you’ve got a recipe for a very low innings count.

  • Voice of Reason

    The combo of being old for his class, not “projectable” and a bit unpolished doesn’t do much for me, but beggars can’t be choosers. He’s basically the right kind of prospect in the right kinda of range. Fair enough.

    Making ML comps for HS pitchers is usually kinda silly, and the Micah Owings thing is absurd, but the Phil Hughes comparison actually does make sense. The scouting report on his stuff reflects Hughes to a T and he has a very similar body type.

    • AP

      You don’t need to be projectable when you’re topping out at 98… he doesn’t need to project, he’s already there. He is unpolished, but that’s probably the only reason why he was available at #30. With his size, stuff and lack of obvious makeup issues, if he was more polished he would’ve been a top 10 pick.

      • Voice of Reason

        Did you read anything beyond the first half of my first sentence?

        Obviously you’re not gonna get flawless players, just voicing my personal wariness of old HS players (I’d always err on the side of youth) who also lack polish, so it wouldn’t be my first choice. But whatevs.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          Old 17, 18 or 19, does it really make that much of a difference? If he takes 4 years to make it to the ML (assuming he does), who cares if he’s 21 or 23? It’s the mileage on his arm and how well he learns that counts in my mind.

          As you point out, a good pick for the 30th overall based on what was there.

          • boogie down
          • boogie down

            Two snippets from the articles, the first from Bill James:

            “Suppose that you have a 20-year-old player and a 21-year-old player of the same ability as hitters; let’s say that each hits about .265 with ten home runs. How much difference is there in the expected career home run totals for the two players?

            As best I can estimate, the 20-year-old player can be expected to hit about 61% more home runs in his career. That’s right—61%.”


            The second is from the author of the article and co-founder of Baseball Prospectus, Rany Jazayerli, summarizing his findings:

            “Over the 32 years combined, the youngest players in each year’s draft were expected to produce slightly less value than the oldest players, because on average they were taken with slightly later draft selections. Despite that, the five youngest players in each year returned MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH VALUE as the five oldest players. If you adjust for the fact that the older group had a slightly higher expected value on Draft Day, the younger group had a return that was 117% higher than the older group.”

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited about the selection of Hensley, especially after reading what Goldstein and Hulet had to say, but age makes an enormous difference.

            • Ted Nelson

              Don’t think you are interpreting that article correctly. That younger picks develop more on a macro level is just logical, and doesn’t mean you should always take the younger player on a micro level. All else is not equal.

              The first quote is talking about level neutral performance. You have to know Hensley performed the same or worse at the same level over a relevant sample for that to matter. We don’t yet.

              The second quote is talking about extremes. I don’t believe Hensley is one of the five oldest or youngest players in this draft.

              • boogie down

                He said, “Old 17, 18, or 19, does it really make that much of a difference?” That would indicate that the same player’s age isn’t all that important when evaluating his projectability, and the article shows that that just isn’t true.

                Yes, when COMPARING two players, they have to perform the same at the same level for their age to be a deciding factor in what their ceiling is. Since we aren’t comparing Hensley to anyone, his performance and level are obviously the same, thereby making “old 17, 18, or 19” exceptionally important.

                As for the second quote, Jazayerli utilized the oldest and youngest players in each of the 32 drafts from ’65-’96 to illustrate how much more could be expected (over a very long period of time) out of younger players within a particular draft than older players. Of course, that isn’t cut and dried, since different players have different abilities. But, all else the same, the younger the player, the more that can be expected of him, sometimes significantly so.

        • Bo Knows

          because someone’s birthday is within a few months of the draft doesn’t mean their ceiling is lower. Many players have birthdays near the draft so what.

      • VCR1111

        Topping out at 98? According to a scouting report on MLB.com, Hensley is described as “strong and durable” with a fastball “that’s a tick above average” at 91-92 mph, though he can throw as hard as 94 mph. Maybe this info is wrong…

        • Ted Nelson

          Those are Mayo’s reports from before the season…

    • Bo Knows

      His birthday is damn near August (July 30th) that’s not old, its not young but so what if he was born a month later would that satisfy you?

      the guy can reach the upper 90’s, with a curveball that is among the best (if not the best) in the draft and at 6’5, 220 it isn’t out of the realm of possibility he could add 5-10lbs of muscle to his frame.

      • Voice of Reason

        July ’93, so he’s very old for his class, no two ways about that. It’s not a matter of being “satisfied” with a particular month of birth. Just that all things being equal, I’d prefer players who aren’t older than nearly all of their competitors and prospects alongside whom they are evaluated for reasons that ought to be obvious. God forbid I have reservations about some aspect of a player the Yankees draft.

        Like I’ve said twice, I have no particular problem with the selection in itself.

        • Manny’s BanWagon

          None of the scouting reports I’ve read mentioned his “old” age as being a problem. I think you’re making a big deal about something that’s not all that important.

          • Voice of Reason


            I’m not making a “big deal” out of anything. It’s just a fact, and a fact that is not good as opposed to good. And to be fair, scouting reports fairly seldom refer to a draft prospect’s age, just lump them all in as “college” and “high school,” but they probably should refer to it. The fact that it’s not mentioned is why I bring it up. I’d wager that any scouting department worth its salt is very conscious of the relative age of HS prospects, they’d be stupid not to be.

            • Havok9120

              To be fair….its also quite possible that they don’t mention it/aren’t super cognoscente of it because its been found not to matter much. It is possible you’re just incorrect.

              I mean, I tend to agree with you. I’m just saying that the two options aren’t that A) they know about it and don’t mention it to be sneaky or B) that they’re stupid for not thinking of it when its so obvious to me, someone who doesn’t do this for a living.

              • Voice of Reason

                Not to be a dick, but the fact that the age of HS players relative to one another ought to be accounted for is something so obvious that the “well what do I know?” thought shouldn’t even come into your head. If they’re not doing it, they are definitely stupid.

                I hadn’t seen that article posted above, but there you go, there’s some actual research showing that I’m most certainly not incorrect. And like I indicated before, I’m not saying that they deliberately aren’t mentioning it/are stupid and that those are the only explanations. I’m SURE smart front offices are aware of it, and as people here love to point out, the scouting reports we all read aren’t prepared by “professionals,” just by writers for an audience. Shit about age could easily not appear important enough for them to mention.

                • Ted Nelson

                  That article was sort of butchered in the context within which it was presented.

                  Anyway, I agree that age is somewhat of a factor… Though a secondary one that only matters after considering several other factors. Yankees seem like they are probably aware of age with Culver and Gumbs young for their class with more room to grow picks, so I would imagine it’s something they considered with Hensley and still took him.

        • Tom

          High school stats are pretty much irrelevant – it really doesn’t matter if he was 10-0 or 5-5 or had an ERA under 1 or over 3

          Pitchers that young (under 20) are drafted on stuff, mechanics and projection. If the Yankees were picking him based on him dominating fellow high schoolers than they need to fire their scouts and talent evaluators.

          It’s one thing to have reservations about the pick but the logic behind it is what I think some are taking issue with. This isn’t like a 27 year old dominating AA or AAA.

          • Voice of Reason

            I wouldn’t go quite so far as to call statistics nearly irrelevant, I’m certain that they (with an eye toward level of competition and innumerable other factors) play some role in evaluation, but that’s not what I’m referring to.

            I mean that whichever qualities scouts do care about need to be evaluated differently when a player is nearly a year older than the group of players to whom he is usually compared. Is Hensley being evaluated simply as a HS senior, or as a player born in July 1993? If he had all the same characteristics he has right now, but he were a young JC player instead of an old HS player, would he be valued any differently? If he were exactly the same, but he was born in July ’94, would he have been valued more highly, and if so how much? Those are the sorts of questions I’m curious about. The info in the BP link above would tend to indicate that historically, older prospects have been overvalued significantly, or at least overvalued relative to younger prospects. In turn, that would tend to indicate that teams have either shown some tendency to overlook age in evaluating a prospects, or that there has been a generally misguided conscious preference for older players. I’d certainly hope that the Yankees incorporate age into their evaluation process, because to not do so would be to ignore relevant information, that’s all. And obviously, Hensley can’t control when he was born/enrolled in school, I doubt that has much relevance in and of itself. He’ll be what he’ll be regardless.

            Considering a number of commenters have tried to dismiss the relevance of age out of hand, it’s pretty clear that a few people have no grasp of the logic behind my reservations. The fact that you think I’m characterizing him the way I would a 27 year old in AA doesn’t set my hopes high for you either.

  • Good Wood

    Is he related to Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens?

  • mustang

    From what I read it sounds like a great pick for #30.

  • RetroRob

    Already looking forward to his HOF induction speech around 2040 or so.

  • O Coelho

    Jesus H. Christ!!! What a bunch of homers!!! Cashman is TERRIBLE at drafting players. This is a waste of time.

    Look… I’m a Bronx-born Yankee fan since Roy White in the 1970’s. The Yankees are going to hit a tough stretch in the next 3-6 years. Why? Three reasons:

    First, they rely so heavily on free agency but the low and mid -level teams are signing the McCutcheon’s, Longoria’s, Zotto’s and Braun’s to long term deals that takes them off the market during their prime years – the years the Yankees used to buy.

    Second, the end of the steroid era means signing a 31 year-old free agent who just completed that seven-year deal isn’t what it was just five short years ago. Nowadays those players are in decline.

    Third, Brian Cashman is at the helm. Again this is the guy that drafted Andrew Brackman (out of basebal), Cito Culver (.246 BA in Low-A Charleston), Dante Bichette (.303 slugging pct in Low-A Charleston), Slade Heathcott (MIA with shoulder injuries and WAAAAY too much Matt Lienart-type partying). This guy signed Kuroda for $10M rather than sign 25 year-old Yu Darvish to a long-term deal. This guy traded Montero for Pineda, who is a Jose Contreras/Eddie Curry hybrid. This guy didn’t acquire CLIFF LEE because Seattle wanted him to add 2B DAVID ADAMS to the deal – now 25 years old, Adams has a .307 slugging percentage and .666 OPS at Double-A Trenton. David Adams?!? DAVID ADAMS?!!? Are you kidding me! I bet Cashman’s little Excel model didn’t like the deal. This guy actually traded Melky plus one top prospect and one B prospect for JAVIER VASQUEZ!!!!

    We’re doomed!!!

    • Frank O

      Get your facts right – Adams was in the deal for Lee – it was the Seattle who balked about Adams’ injured ankle. By the way – how is Lee doing this year. As far as Darvish is concerned, I’m sure Cash had to get Hal’s approval to go after him

    • NYinTX
    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      This is terrible satire. Or else we’re sending you to Bellevue.

    • NYinTX

      Golf clap.

    • Joel

      It was Eduardo Nuñez who held up the deal. Cashman wouldn’t include him. Still makes your point, but you ought to know the difference. Adams would have been in the deal (the Yankees were ready to let him go in it), but Seattle understandably didn’t like his injury situation… one he has only just returned from recently.

    • Havok9120

      This was a terrible post no matter what you were actually trying to accomplish. Satire, trolling, constructive thought….It wasn’t even annoying.

      I mean….unless you were shooting for a terrible post? I guess that would mean you succeeded?

    • DannyC


      • Ted Nelson

        Must have missed the first class of Troll School. That’s the one where they teach you not to double post under different identities.

        You did seem to pick up on the lesson about blurring the lines between homerism, rational analysis, and ignorant drivel.

    • Iknowcano


    • DT

      Not sure if trolling or stupid or just great satire

    • http://none drect

      been a fan much longer than you for over fifty years been listening to loons like you.. another good pick by the system not cashman alone. wish you would join red sux nation as they too are over reactionary and stupid like you.

      • forensic

        If you’re over 50 years old, don’t you think it’s a little juvenile to still be saying ‘Red Sux’?

      • Dave M


    • forensic

      Bash him all you want, which everyone already is, but whether he was trying to be overly sarcastic or not all of his points actually have some truth to them, sadly enough.

      • Havok9120

        Yes, in the sense that you cannot debate effectively with someone who’s primary backing for why a particular action was stupid is hindsight.

        • forensic

          The first two points had nothing to do with hindsight. And the third one mentioned a bunch of draftees who if I remember correctly were also questioned by a bunch of talent evaluators/analysts at the moment they were picked as over-drafts.

      • AP

        The only move I disagreed with at the time was Darvish. Every other move mentioned was a good move at the time and only looks bad in hindsight. Almost everyone in baseball thought the Yanks won the Montero/Pineda deal, Brackman was a no-brainer when he fell to NY, Culver/Heathcott/Bichette are still babies, Kuroda at 1yr/$10M was a steal, etc.

      • Ted Nelson

        Like 1 out of 10 points has some validity… And even there the ignorance is palpable. Bichette was rushed and is struggling. His season wouldn’t have started if they took it slow and put him in SI. Culver is a SS, hits well from one side of the plate, and is still very young.

        9 out of 10 points were just factually wrong.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Oh you’re the guy who singlehandedly made the NYT Bats Blog comment section unreadable!

      You’ve got the wrong address. You want http://yankees.lhblogs.com/

    • Evan3457

      Wow. Just…wow.

    • Ted Nelson

      Were to begin?

      Cashman doesn’t draft players. Damon Oppenheimer does. A bit like you wouldn’t blame Lloyd for every trade Goldman makes… Cashman is a manager.

      Seattle didn’t want David Adams because of the ankle… The Yankees were offering him. He’s coming back from a major injury and was a beast before that, by the way.

      Cashman is a college baseball player… Not a quant.

      Just about all your criticisms are off base and just factually wrong.

  • aluis

    Overall pretty with the pick but was really hoping for Marcus Stroman or Victor Roache unfortunately they were taken by the tine we picked.

  • dkidd

    Commencing prospect crush in three, two, one…

  • Ctbullets

    Mlb.com says 91-92 that can reach 94..enough with the overhyping..I like the pick at 30 but these ridiculous comps and tall tale scouting reports are gonna raise the expectations too high just like Hughes being the next Clemens

    • Ted Nelson

      MLB.com did their profiles before the season. That’s why most of them end with something like “if he does X this spring he could be a first round pick.”

      I think you’re reading more hype than people are ascribing. Having the upside to do something does not mean you will do it. Most 1st rounders have the upside to be stars. The vast majority will not be stars, though.

  • Deep Thoughts

    He still needs to be signed, right? Still possible, however unlikely, that he could pull a Gerrit Cole and just go to Ole Miss?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Of course.

  • Ted Nelson

    Are you really treating BA as the definitive source on prospect rankings? I respect their publication, but it’s one publication. Some were much higher on Hensley and some much lower.

    I really doubt teams sit in their war rooms looking at BA’s list to decide how the prospects are ranked.

  • RI$P FTW

    I don’t know about this. I’d rather the Yanks draft someone who is 200 pounds overweight and eats pure sugar before games. Heart disease = ace, imho.