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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Drew Henson (2002)

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 2/13/80, Age: 22, Height: 6’5’’, Weight: 222, Bats: R, Throws: R. Acquired: Yankees - Drafted in the 3rd Round of the 1998 Draft (Brighton HS, MI). 2001 Stats: (High-A - Tampa) .143 AVG, 21 AB, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 7 K, .174 OBP, .238 SLG; (AA - Norwich) .368 AVG, 19 AB, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 SB, 1 BB, 4 K, .400 OBP, .400 SLG; (AAA - Columbus) .222 AVG, 270 AB, 6 2B, 0 3B, 11 HR, 2 SB, 10 BB, 85 K, .250 OBP, .367 SLG. 2002 Stats: (AAA - Columbus) .240 AVG, 471 AB, 30 2B, 4 3B, 18 HR, 2 SB, 37 BB, 151 K, .301 OBP, .435 SLG.
    Drew Henson, as far as many analysts are concerned, has “BUST” tattooed on his forehead right now. The former Michigan QB was one of the most discussed minor leaguers a few years ago when he all but forced the Reds to trade him back to the Yankees, and he still gets his fair share of press. The only problem is that the press is becoming almost unilaterally negative, due to the .234 BA and 236 whiffs in his 741 ABs at Columbus the last two seasons. Even during his struggles, Henson has shown the power that tantalizes everyone that watches him. He still hits 500-foot HRs often enough to make people salivate over the prospects of 600 ABs from him after he “develops”. His 52 extra-base hits tied him for eighth in the IL last year, which is quite solid for a year in which he was considered a disappointment. The rest of his game, however, needs a great deal of work. He still has enormous holes in his swing, which barely even merits mention after looking at those strikeout totals. His speed is just about average on the basepaths, which is a lot better than his batting eye, which is the weakest part of his game by far. He literally has no game plan in the batters’ box, just hoping to get a mistake that he can hit a long way. Defensively, Henson has the tools to be above average, but he still lacks consistency. He has a cannon for an arm, and fairly soft hands and good range for a player with his build, but he still makes bad decisions and boots easy plays, frequently sandwiching a great play with two horrible ones. Overall, Henson still looks like the player that came out of the 1998 draft: raw, but promising. That cannot be a good thing to say about a player with 1381 minor league at bats.
    To me, Drew Henson is a bit enigmatic. On the one hand, you have a number of reasonable baseball people that say that Drew Henson has a chance to be a superstar with a few more reps (Tommy John still seems convinced that he is only a year or two away form being a solid big leaguer), and you have his obvious power potential. On the other hand, you have his inability to progress at all in over two full seasons and the obvious, glaring holes in his game. The Yankees appear to have seriously considered alternative plans in recent months, with talk of Edgardo Alfonso littering the airwaves, but their long-term commitment to Henson has seemingly endured to this point. Perhaps Robin Ventura will be brought back for another season, and the Yanks will hope that 2003 will finally be the year that Drew Henson makes the strides that have been expected for years. I have become skeptical after watching him a few times this season, and put his odds at becoming a successful starting 3B in NY at 20%. That 20%, which represents his optimal development, would result in a Troy Glaus-type player, whose arrival would likely be in 2004. More likely, the Yankees are looking at the second coming of Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens, who alternated a homer for every nine strikeouts or so, just like Henson. In fact, Chad Hutchinson’s recent signing by the Cowboys illustrates, in my mind, the likely career path of Drew Henson, with an NFL arrival in, say, 2005. The Raiders might need a new QB at that point….from maize and blue to black and silver? It is more likely than pinstripes, if you ask me.


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