With the 30th pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Yankees selected Ty Hensley. The RHP out of Santa Fe High School has yet to throw a professional pitch, but was kind enough to grant me an interview. You can read it in its entirety here, and see some of it in this Thursday’s Hunterdon County Democrat as well.
What was draft day like for you? Where were you, how did you celebrate, etc.?
It was a surreal kind of day. We had a private party at a local restaurant with close friends and family.
Were you expecting to go where you did?
No actually I was expected to go as high as 10, but when Correa went of the board first it changed a lot of things.
Any level of surprise/disappointment that any teams passed on you?
The interesting thing is the the average person out there thinks just because a team doesn’t pick you it means they “passed”. Really it’s about the needs of a club, not you as a player. If you are a HS RHP and they decide to go position player as an organization, it what it is. When I was selected by the Yankees, the number really didn’t seem to matter all that much anymore. I had just been drafted by THE team of baseball.
I’m guessing it won’t come as much of a surprise that a lot of fans are asking about when you’re going to sign…certainly you and the Yankees are in negotiations, but how close do you feel like things are right now?
I think we are getting closer. The toughest thing for me about this process has been that people assume it is just about the money. There is so much more that goes into this decision; both for me and for the club. I scored a 28 on my ACT and would like to pursue an engineering degree at some point and the college experience just isn’t the same at 27 as it is at 18, but at the end of the day my dream is to be a big leaguer. The fastest and most efficient path to that goal is what I want my next step to be, so it is really important to think things through and weigh everything out. There’s time built into this process to do that and I am taking it.
What have you been doing to stay in shape as the signing process plays out?
I haven’t fallen off of my workout program at all. This program includes strength and flexibility everyday. I also run about 8 miles a week. I take my vitamins and eat right, and continue my long toss and bull pens.
I’d have to imagine that you’ve seen that the Yankees don’t hesitate in moving young pitchers through their organization quickly…how
antsy are you to officially get in the organization and start that process?
Antsy isn’t even the word, I am dying to be done with this part and play ball. One of the things that excited me the most about being drafted by the Yankees was the opportunity for a guy like me to move quickly, that isn’t the case in all organizations.
Any chance of not signing and going to Ole Miss?
Yes there is that chance or I would have been on my way to Tampa a week ago. My hold up is making sure when the dust had settled, and all things considered the decision made was the one that was best for me.
Has it been difficult in any way to think about passing up the college experience?
Absolutely. I believe I answered this one above.
Can you give me a self scouting report?
I am a 6’5 physical righty who has a plus fastball that can dial it up to 97-98 and sits at 92-95. My 12-6 plus hammer at 78-81 is my out pitch, and a I have been perfecting my circle change which I am really,really pleased with at how it is coming. Most would say it is average right now with flashes of being plus once I start throwing it more often. I have been compared to Matt Cain quite a bit and I don’t mind that comparison at all.
I’ve heard a lot about your curveball…what is it about it that makes so nasty?
The spin on my ball causes it to just make the bottom fall out on hitters. I have been told over and over you can’t teach that. You either have it or you don’t.
I’d have to imagine that in high school, you can pretty much just blow your fastball by the majority of the batters you face. But secondary stuff is obviously a lot more important as you progress through pro ball…how much focus will you put on continuing to develop the changeup and the curveball?
I don’t plan on messing with my curveball too much, other then making sure my mechanics are sound so that I repeat my delivery. The change is a work in progress.
Any plans on incorporating anything else into the repertoire in the future?
One of the things I am looking forward to in pro ball is getting to work with guys that can look at my stuff and see what we can add to the equation without changing too much. I have toyed with the idea of adding a cutter.
Were there any pitchers you idolized growing up?
Lots of them, but the real answer would surprise most people. Our life was baseball because my Dad was a college baseball coach. We were at Oral Roberts until I was 3 and the Kansas State until I was 12. The guys I most looked up to early on were my dads players. We spent so much time at a park the last thing I did if I wasn’t playing was watch games on TV, but as I started appreciating the game a little more guys like Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, and Johan Santana were the guys I watched.
Anyone you’ve tried to model yourself after?
Over the last few years Justin Verlander’s success is what I strive to achieve. His ability to change speeds, the way he attacks the zone, and most importantly his work ethic on and off the field separate him from the pack for me.
Do you feel that your prowess at the plate has helped/will help you in continuing to develop as a pitcher…i.e. understanding the mentality of a hitter as well, etc.
I think you said it all right there. If you have worn the shoes then you know how they feel.
How big of a jump do you anticipate going from high school to pro ball being?
It will be a jump for sure, but I wasn’t a part timer in high school I was at it at 5:30 in the morning and not done most days until 10:30 so that part won’t be tough. The level of competition and speed of the game will be the biggest jumps and the ones that I look forward to the most.
What kind of guy are you like off the field? Interests, hobbies, etc
I am a pretty simple guy. When I do get “me” time I spend it with friends, and family or helping out in the community. I love to fish and have recently picked up golf. I can’t tell you where I will hit a golf ball at this point but it goes a long way.