San Diego Padres’ right-handed pitcher Henry Henry is on the verge of establishing himself in a system crowded with talent.
The San Diego Padres farm system is very deep.
Pitchers are emerging every year in the organization as the Padres have done well to stockpile arms at virtually every level. Talented young men are everywhere, especially at the lower levels, where the system is crowded with international talent that little is known about currently.
Unless a pitcher was regarded as a top 30 international talent before being signed, you generally do not hear much about them. Luis Patino is a prime example of this, as the Colombian signed for $130,000 during a period where Adrian Morejon received $11 million, and Ronald Bolanos signed for over $2 million.
Inked for $400,000 in 2015, Henry Henry has slowly climbed the ranks within the Padres system. If not for his unique name, most would not know much about the hurler. At 17, he started his journey with the DSL Padres in 2016 and only lasted a few games on the island. The Padres wanted him in Arizona, where they could further refine his mechanics. Very few 17-year-olds are entrusted with this honor.
His sinking fastball has always been a positive attribute for this right-handed pitcher. Pounding the zone, Henry was not regarded as a strikeout pitcher early in his minor league career. In 251 career innings at the minor league level, Henry has only allowed eight home runs. The sinking fastball is a weapon for this Dominican.
Though he started for the majority of his career, the Padres turned Henry into a reliever, and he pitched out of the bullpen solely in 2019. The numbers were impressive there as he went 7-5 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.094 WHIP in 43 games. Henry pitched in 81.1 games and struck out 80 batters while walking 16. The TinCaps got a lot of use from the pitcher, and he responded well to coming out of the bullpen.
So, where does he fit in plans for the Padres?
The 21-year-old may be able to be a serviceable high-leverage reliever, but there is still the belief that he can be a decent starting pitcher.
In this video, you see his repeatable and straightforward motion. The Dominican pitcher is free and easy, and that is what you like to see from a young pitcher. With mechanics like this, you can envision a long pitching career for this right-hander.
Henry Henry is armed with a mid-90s fastball and a hard biting slider. His catcher, Blake Hunt tells me that there was an uptick in his velocity this past season as he came out of the bullpen for the TinCaps. The two men have played together for three years since both were brought into the system. Hunt knows the Dominican pitcher well. “His slider took on some new shape as well- kinda more of a wipeout pitch now,” Hunt said.
Whether it is out of the bullpen or as a starting pitcher, Henry Henry could be on the verge of breaking out in 2020. The Padres system is full of arms that are capable of blossoming. There are several players within the system that are close to turning the corner into prospect relevancy.