The 2020 MLB Draft Scouting Report series moves on today to take a look at high school outfielder Austin Hendrick. He’s the 9th player on the list that we’re writing about. He’s currently listed as the #9 prospect on the Baseball America list, #18 on the Fangraphs list, and #13 on the MLB Pipeline list.
Austin Hendrick’s High School Career
There’s been a little bit of inconsistency with regards to performance from Austin Hendrick in his high school career. The tools have never been in question, and there are stretches where they play every bit as much in games – even against national and international competition – but other times they don’t play as well and the performance hasn’t been there as much as you would expect.
Austin Hendrick Video
Austin Hendrick Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 192 lbs
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
When it comes to tools, Austin Hendrick has them all. All of his raw tool grades are at least average, while his raw power is among the best in the entire draft and at the top among all high schoolers. The lefty has shown power against quality pitching on the national and international scene between showcase games as well as playing with Team USA in the summer. He shows elite bat speed and gets good loft on the ball. It’s easy power and he can use it to the big part of the ballpark.
But with all of that power there have been times where there’s been plenty of swing-and-miss in his game, too. And that has left some concerns about just how well his bat could ultimately play. There is some split on just how much he could actually hit for. Defensively he’ll fit in well in either corner outfield spot, but he’s got plenty of arm to handle right field if that’s where a team wants to put him. There’s even a small chance that he could handle center field as a pro, but it would require almost a perfect scenario of a team having a need there and him not losing a step at all in the future as his speed is only slightly above-average currently.
Where the concern could be
How much average he can hit for due to some swing-and-miss concerns is the big question that some have. His bat speed is near the top of the draft, and that could allow him to make more adjustments to limit that in the future and answer any questions. With the power he has, he won’t need to hit for a high average – but there is a limit for how much guys need to hit for depending on just how much power that do eventually show. There’s a difference between Joey Gallo hitting .220 and a guy who hits 25 home runs a year hitting .220.