While we wait for Cole Henry to recover from Thoracic Outlet surgery, what do his skills tell us await Nationals fans in the future?
- Born: July 15, 1999
- B/T: Right/Right
- 6’4″, 215-lbs
- Drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 2020 MLB June Amateur Draft from Louisiana State University
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
Before he was hurt, Henry was zipping along at two levels a year. Well, he had a taste of Rookie ball on the front end, and a taste of Triple-A on the back end. Mostly he spent 2021 at High-A and 2022 at Double-A. Did pretty well in both places too. Cole Henry can really strike guys out, and most of the time his walk rate is good, and it leads to nifty WHIPs.
He spent April and May at Double-A and showed he can dominate them, and only hurt himself with some walks.
He started June in Triple-A before he got hurt, and he still had a 3-to-1 K-to-BB ration there.
Handedness K% and BB%
AA (vs RH): 26%K and 8%BB. (vs LH): 44%K and 16%BB.
AAA (vs RH): 28%K and 0%BB. (vs LH): 6%K and 13%BB.
I don’t think we can learn much from those Triple-A numbers as the sample size is too small. But Double-A is interesting. He was effective against righties. But against lefties it was dominance and chaos! They basically had no chance unless Henry hurt himself with a walk. Poor lefty hitters had no idea where the ball was going!
He’s not on most of the scout’s radar because he is in injury limbo. This isn’t Tommy John surgery where the outcome is fairly predictable. TOS is more serious, and the recovery rate is not certain for baseball players.
It’s a shame because Cole Henry was showing the signs of being an effective major league pitcher. Now, assuming he returns at all, it may be tempting for the Nationals to move him to relief.
Step one is to return healthy. The rest can follow from there.