The 2020 draft for the Washington Nationals yielded Cade Cavalli, Cole Henry, Samuel Infante, Holden Powell, Brady Lindsly, and Mitchell Powell over the truncated 5-round amateur draft. Most Nats fans are familiar with Cavalli already, and those who follow the top prospects know that Cole Henry is already the Nats Nº. 3 prospect on Baseball America‘s rankings.
At the Nats fall instructs in the West Palm Beach complex, Henry was there with most of the Nats top prospects including Cavalli and Jackson Rutledge who are rated on all Nats prospects list as the top two players.
“Yeah for sure, Cade and Rut are both great pitchers and even better dudes,” Henry told us. “Got to meet both of them for the first time at instructs, and I think the sky is the limit for both of those guys! I’m honored to be ranked right up there with them and to be able to compete against and learn from them each and everyday is going to be awesome!”
Coincidentally, the second-round pick went to LSU where Nats’ outfielder Andrew Stevenson was also drafted from.
“I actually never had any interaction with the Stevenson family, but my little brother plays on the same travel ball team as his little brother so I guess we have that in common too,” he said.
It is a small world as they say and Josh Stevenson played the past 3 summers on the Louisiana Knights travel team with Henry’s younger brother. Josh has committed to play college ball at LSU like his older brother, Andrew, as well as Cole Henry.
Here is the scouting from Baseball America on Henry on the 80/20 scale:
Fastball: 60. Changeup: 55. Curveball: 50. Control: 50
TRACK RECORD: Henry touched 97 mph in high school but fell to the 38th round due to his strong commitment to Louisiana State. He became the Tigers’ Friday night starter immediately as a freshman and was off to another excellent start in 2020 before the season shut down. The Nationals drafted the eligible sophomore in the second round, No. 55 overall, and signed him for $2 million.
SCOUTING REPORT: Henry is a big, physical righthander with power stuff. His plus four-seam fastball sits at 94 mph and touches 97. He also has a two-seamer with solid sink in the mid 90s. Henry’s curveball flashes the depth and power to be an above-average pitch as a top-to-bottom, 12-to-6 offering. His fading changeup has flashed plus as well. Henry flashes premium stuff, but it’s not consistent and he has outings where he can’t put hitters away. He struggles to land his secondaries in the strike zone, allowing batters to sit on his fastball and drive it. Henry is a fiery competitor who goes right after hitters. The Nationals are excited about the tall pitcher’s frame and how his arm works.
“He shows pitchability that you want in a front-line starter,” Assistant G.M. of the Nationals, Mark Scialabba said. “We are very excited to have Cole. … And then to get Cole Henry where we did [in the second round], where we felt like that was a great job by our scouts as well, someone that is certainly a first-round-type talent. ”
The 21-year-old is listed at almost the identical size as Cavalli at 6’4″ and weighs in at 10 pounds less than the Oklahoma product. When the Nats drafted Henry, they liked his height and build. As far as Henry’s repertoire goes, he is a 3-pitch guy with both a 4-seam and 2-seam fastball as well as a changeup, and he throws a curveball for his breaking pitch. As a young player, he has not gotten into the advanced pitch analytics much.
“Honestly haven’t gotten much into Trackman or Rapsodo,” Henry said. “I think they are great tools to help develop your pitches but in my opinion I think a lot of folks get caught up in too much of the spin rate and all that and forget the basics of pitching and what makes you successful as a pitcher.”
“I just try to be the best pitcher and person I can be every single day! Just try to focus on me and let everything else take care of itself!!”
If you follow Henry on his social media on Instagram and Twitter, you know his non-baseball hobbies are duck hunting and fishing. Like most kids his age he also loves video games. He should be at A-ball some time during the 2021 season.