The MLB is filled with star shortstops. From Francisco Lindor to Carlos Correa, the league has rarely seen this level of top-notch shortstop play. Still, there’s always room for more, and Morgan Academy’s Gunnar Henderson is one of the best in the class. Only 17 years old, Henderson should be selected near the middle or end of the first round.
Gunnar Henderson 2019 MLB Draft Profile
Gunnar Henderson has one of the best all-around hit tools in the draft. While he’s still working on developing his power, the 17-year old star has a well-developed swing and the ability to find gaps in the defense. Additionally, he’s started to show some strength and could develop more power as he gets older.
Henderson has the potential to be a threat on the basepaths. While he’s not Rickey Henderson by any means, the high schooler has good speed and an advanced feel for the basepaths. He might not be a 30-steal guy, but he’s a heads-up player who can turn singles into doubles and take the extra base on throws.
The biggest question surrounding Henderson is how he’ll develop with added muscle. As things currently stand, Henderson is 6’3” and weighs 193 pounds. That’s likely to change and Henderson tries to add muscle and add more power. Additionally, he’s only 17, so his body isn’t done developing yet.
Henderson doesn’t have the best defensive range for a shortstop, and some fear that added weight could eliminate his range. If that happens, he’ll need to move over to third base. Henderson has above-average power for a shortstop but falls closer to the middle of the pack relative to third basemen. His hit tool ensures that he’ll be productive regardless, but his value gets diminished if he cannot stick at shortstop.
Last Word on Gunnar Henderson
Gunnar Henderson is a classic high-ceiling high schooler who carries some risk. The lefty has one of the best hit tools in the class and should develop more power as he gets older and his body develops. The Morgan Academy product added on some mass prior to his Senior season, and the added muscle helped him put the ball in the air. He still has room to grow and could develop into one of the better all-around hitters at shortstop.
However, Henderson carries a decent amount of risk. If he adds more muscle, he risks becoming a defensive liability. If this happens, he’ll end up at third base and lose some of his value. Power hitting third basemen aren’t hard to find in today’s day and age, and Henderson’s power won’t be exceptional relative to the average third baseman. He’ll still be a productive major leaguer, but he probably won’t make any All-Star teams at third.
Because of his relative risk, Henderson will probably come off the board late in the first round. While he doesn’t have the highest floor, he has the ceiling of a top-15 selection.
Embed from Getty Images