2014 Statistics: 17 Games (16 GS) 30.2 IP, 2.93 ERA, 11.7 K/9, 3.2 BB/9
2014 Level/Roster Status: Rookie Ball | Short-Season Non-40
It has not been an easy career so far for 2012 first-round pick Ty Hensley. When initially drafted , the big right-hander was praised for possessing an overpowering fastball that had been clocked as high as 98 mph. Hensley backed that pitch up with an extremely advanced, potentially plus curveball that was viewed as being among the best breaking pitches in that entire class. Hensley was expected to sign quickly for $1.6 million but a post-signing physical ultimately found a genetic abnormality within his shoulder. The abnormality caused the Yankees to reduce their offer and Hensley understandably took time to contemplate his future before agreeing to sign at the deadline for $1.2 million. The late signing limited Hensley to only five innings in 2012.
Expected to begin the 2013 season with the Charleston RiverDogs, the big kid from Oklahoma suffered an abdominal strain early during spring training. What was expected to be a few weeks of recuperation ended up being extended due to numerous setbacks that were eventually attributed to be caused by then unknown impingement in Hensley’s hip that, like his shoulder, was genetic in origin. The former first rounder ended up having surgery to repair this issue, ultimately ending his year before the regular season even began.
With so many issues limiting Hensley over the previous year and a half, 2014 was very much a make or break year for Ty Hensley. With the hip finally fixed, the righty was able to make a proper debut for the Gulf Coast League Yankees, and later the Staten Island Yankees in the Short-Season baseball league. Due to so much missed time, the Yankees understandably limited Hensley’s innings to three innings per appearance. The small number of innings pitched makes all the statistics very unreliable but scouts who were present at his games had some very positive things to say. In his chat about the Short-Season league, Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt made note that Hensley sat in the 90-93mph range with his fastball, topping out at 96 mph. Fitt also mentioned Hensley "showed a plus curveball."
Although the number of innings thrown were limited, Ty Hensley being able to pitch this year without any issue was a big step in the right direction. The hope for next year is that the reigns will be loosened allowing him to get some significant innings. It is likely that he will start next season in Charleston before hopefully finishing the year in Tampa. It has not been an easy road so far for Ty Hensley but the talent and potential makes him a major sleeper within the Yankees system that could make a lot of noise very soon.