Yankees take RHP Hensley with No. 30 pick

06/04/2012 11:03 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

The Yankees are optimistic that Hensley can develop into a top-tier pitcher.(Gregg Forwerck)

With the No. 30 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft on Monday night, the New York Yankees selected 18-year-old RHP Ty Hensley out of Edmond Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla.

Hensley, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander, is the son of current Kansas State University head coach (and former Cardinals second round pick) Mike Hensley, and was the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Oklahoma in 2012.

This past season, Hensley was a dual threat in leading Edmond Santa Fe to the semifinals of the Oklahoma State Class 6A Tournament. On the mound, he went 10-0 with a 1.52 ERA and 111 strikeouts in just 55 1/3 innings pitched, and at the plate, he hit .461 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI.

That line followed up a strong junior season, one where Hensley -- who says he patterns himself after Roy Halladay in terms of efficiency -- went 6-0 with a 2.26 ERA and struck out 58 (against just 17 walks) in 31 innings -- a K/9 ratio of 16.8 -- and also helped his team reach the state semifinals.

Hensley has committed to play college ball at the University of Mississippi, but should he sign with the Yankees, the 18-year-old will bring a strong fastball (clocked as high as 96 MPH but consistently in the mid-90s), a plus curveball, and a “promising” changeup according to most scouting reports.

In a statement, Yankees Vice President and Director of Scouting Damon Oppenheimer said that Hensley "has the ability to be a high-end starter."

"We’re excited to get a guy with such a high ceiling,” Oppenheimer said. “He has the ideal body for a high school pitcher, as well as power stuff, and has the ability to be a high-end starter. He’s demonstrated a quality makeup and has shown himself to be a hard worker, which makes him a quality pick for us.”

The Yankees have used their top overall pick on a player out of Edmond Santa Fe High School once before. That was in 2002, when RHP Brandon Weeden was chosen in the second round at No. 71 overall; Weeden played in the Bombers' Minor League system for five years before retiring and moving on to play football at Oklahoma State University, where he led the team to a Big 12 Championship and their first-ever BCS berth (in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl) before being selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

And, in addition to the Halladay comparison and the Weeden similarity, Hensley also has some secondary pitcher synergy going for him; the last time the Yankees selected No. 30 overall, in 2007, they also chose a power pitcher: 6-foot-10 RHP Andrew Brackman from North Carolina State.

The Yankees will have two second-round selections, Nos. 89 and 94 overall, on Tuesday, as well as the No. 124 overall pick in Round 3. Beyond that, they will have the 29th of 30 picks in every remaining round. comments