The 3rd Man In

Gunnar Henderson hopes to stick at shortstop

Gunnar Henderson MLB Draft

Gunnar Henderson, a prep shortstop from Alabama, is one of the top high school draft prospects in the 2019 MLB draft class.

Baseball America ranks the 6-foot-3, 195-pound infielder as the 23rd-best prep prospect in June’s draft.

“It’s not pressure but it’s just humbling knowing that,” he said. “I just have to stick to my game and not do too much. Try to play for my teammates and not try to play to impress anybody.”

Henderson is a left-handed batter and features a gap-to-gap approach. He has a slightly wide stance with a toe-tap load and features a smooth swing. He also has power to right field.

His current hitting tools have the potential to continue to improve as he adds strength to his frame. Henderson has dedicated time this offseason to getting stronger in hopes of driving the ball consistently with ease. He also wants to become more selective at the plate.

“I feel like my hitting is one of my biggest strengths,” Henderson said. “Once I get my timing down, I’ll be able to hit the ball all over the field. That’ll be a big part of my ability to play the game.”

Defensively, Henderson is athletic and moves well at shortstop. He has quick feet and puts himself in position to make a range of plays. He also has soft hands and a strong, accurate arm.

Henderson said he needs to “stay more loose” in order to move quicker laterally. He admits that he has to progress his skills but believes he can stick at shortstop long-term.

“I believe, even though I’m a taller shortstop, that I can get as much range as anyone,” he said. “I also have a strong arm to get it across the field from any position at shortstop.”

Henderson was active on the summer showcase circuit, competing in the Under Armor All-American Game, Perfect Game All-American Classic, Area Code Games and East Coast Pro.

He said it was an opportunity for him to see how he stacked up against other top high school players, while gaining experience dealing with professional scouts.

He will continue to deal with scouts throughout the spring, as they evaluate him in preparation for the draft. Henderson will likely have the option to start a professional career directly out of high school or attend Auburn, a university he’s been a fan of his “entire life.”

“It’s very humbling that God gave me the ability to be considered one of the top in the country,” Henderson said. “I can’t thank my parents enough for giving me the opportunity to be able to have this experience.”

(Photo courtesy of Gunnar Henderson)

You can find more MLB draft coverage here.

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