Randy Henry was selected by the Orioles in the 4th round of the 2009 MLB draft out of South Mountain CC. He signed for $365,000 and made his pro debut with the Delmarva Shorebirds last season (2010).
Henry’s pure stuff is almost unmatched within the Orioles organization. In a combined 23 innings between Delmarva and Aberdeen, he struck out 30 batters while walking just 6, giving him an impressive 5.00 K/BB ratio. On top of his strikeouts, Henry kept the ball in the park and on the ground, posting a 1.92 GO/AO ratio while allowing just one home run.
At its best, Henry’s fastball sits in the 92-95 mph range with good sink and run. He isn’t afraid to attack hitters inside and can spot his fastball to all parts of the strike zone. Throughout high school and college, Henry has thrown strictly two-seam fastballs but has still been mid 90’s velocity and even upper 90’s at times (96, 97 mph). In 2011 Henry should mix in some four-seamers when he needs the extra velocity.
Despite owning two above-average breaking pitches in a curveball and slider, the Orioles feel the slider is the better pitch and will have him ditch the curveball, at least for now. His slider sits in the mid 80’s.
As he continues to build up strength and work back from Tommy John Surgery in 2009 and elbow issues in 2010, Henry will pitch out of the bullpen. Once he proves healthy over an extended period of time and builds up innings, we may see him shift back to the rotation, which is where he was used in high school and college.
Clean mechanics and a smooth, repeatable delivery allow Henry to consistently throw strikes and gives him above-average command all of his pitches.
Although the sample size has been small, when Henry’s been on the field he’s been pretty dominant. It looks as if staying healthy is going to be the biggest challenge for Henry at this point, as it has been for most of the 2009 draftees.
Henry looks destined for Frederick, and with a good performance there he could find himself in Bowie by mid-season. If he ultimately ends up in the rotation his ceiling is that of a #2 starter, but if he settles into the bullpen he’d fit nicely as a power closer.