Here is an update on the Nationals’ 2020 second-round draft selection, right-hander Cole Henry. The 6-foot-4, 211-lb., Henry was LSU’s No. 1 starter in the most recent abbreviated season. He is rated as the Nats No. 4 overall prospect on MLBPipeline.com.
Although the Tigers were only able to get four weekends of play in due to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, Henry still managed to go 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings. He recorded 23 strikeouts with only six walks. On Feb. 28, he beat Texas 4-3 at Minute Maid Park by allowing only two earned runs in six innings on four hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts. He also defeated Indiana 8-1 on Feb. 14 with four scoreless innings, tallying no walks and eight strikeouts.
Here are a couple of the strikeouts Henry had versus the Longhorns back in February in his second win.
At fall instructional league play, Nats pitching coordinator Brad Holman said Henry showed a three-pitch repertoire with a fastball reaching the mid-90s and a 12-to-6 curveball.
“I think about his extreme feel for pitching,” Holman said. “Cerebral guy. He throws fastball, curveball, changeup. He reminds me of a young Kyle Hendricks. Kyle had really good command and instincts on the mound where you could just tell he kind of knows what he wants to do against hitters. He doesn’t really limit himself to one side of the plate. He doesn’t show any patterns. He can pitch up in the zone. He can throw a curveball below the zone.”
Holman also pointed on how Henry, 21, made life easy for his catcher by not allowing runners to get comfortable on their jumps to second base, beating the average time of 1.3-1.5 seconds with his delivery.
“He uses both sides of the plate and really, really controls the running game. He is like a 1.1 (seconds) to the plate pretty regularly,” Holman said. “So kudos to whoever worked with him at LSU because he is really mature for his age.”
The Nationals have to be extremely pleased they were able to get a pair of Friday night starters in Henry and right-hander Cade Cavalli in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft. Now it is time to see the pair in actual minor league games so they can build professional innings and show off their high-level stuff.