Alex Kielar | June 8th, 2020
The Major League Baseball amateur draft will begin on June 10th at 7 pm ET. We continue our MLB Draft profiles with prep outfielder Austin Hendrick from western Pennsylvania.
Make sure to check out our other MLB Draft profiles here.
Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny High School (PA)
Weight: 205 lbs
2017 Stats: 18 G, .491/.538/.800, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 16 R, 7 BB, 5 SB
2018 Stats: 12 G, .357/.526/.572, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 12 R, 9 BB, 5 SB
2019 Stats with Team USA: 8 G, .056/.320/.056, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 5 BB
Austin Hendrick was born on June 15, 2001, in Oakdale, Pennsylvania which is in the Pittsburgh area. He attended West Allegheny High School where he put up very solid numbers his first two years as you can see from the stats above. Hendrick was named the MVP of the 15U Perfect Game World Series. He was selected to Team USA in 2019 but struggled in the eight games, however, he did have a team-leading five walks. He is committed to Mississippi State but should sign with a team if he is selected high enough, which he is projected to. Check out more on Hendrick:
Hendrick has one of the highest power scores of all the draft class with a 70 score. He has always shown elite bat speed and very quick hands which converts to impressive launch angle and exit velocity. He creates a lot of leverage with his swing and according to Perfect Game, he has been clocked in at a crazy good exit velocity of 105 MPH. Hendrick has impressive arm strength which makes him profile as a right fielder, with enough speed to potentially play center. He has plenty of room to grow physically and fundamentally as just a young 18-year old kid which will help him tap more into his raw power and be an even stronger hitter. Hendrick has the most upside of any of the prep hitters and has the potential to be a solid middle-of-order run producer with plenty of pop.
The one weakness Hendrick has in his game is that he isn’t consistent in his swing as he has seen an uptick in swing-and-misses. He still needs to tinker with his swing to get better at consistency and find a balance as he develops in the minor leagues. This is almost an “epidemic” per se, in the MLB, as there are many hitters who have the “three main outcomes” of a home run, walk, or strikeout. Given that, he is a similar hitter to guys like Joey Gallo, who has still had a lot of success in the major leagues.
A good comparison for Hendrick is Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hendrick has a very close build to Pederson as Pederson is 6’1, 220 lbs and they both have impressive power. Pederson has hit at least 25 homers in four of his five full MLB seasons and hit his most last year with 36. He doesn’t hit for a very high average which could be the type of player Hendrick turns into at the next level.
Draft Projection: Round 1 Pick 16, Chicago Cubs
I believe the shorter five rounds will hurt the prep prospects as teams will want to use most of their picks on guys who are more pro-ready and can come up sooner rather than later. Hendrick seems like a great for the Cubs and they don’t have many top outfield prospects in their system. A hitter like him who has a very high ceiling but has some work to do will be good for the Cubs as they are great at producing solid players through their system.
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Main Image Credit: Austin Hendrick Twitter @Aust_Hendrick7