Baltimore Orioles: Gunnar Henderson Swinging A Hot Bat In The Gulf Coast League
The Baltimore Orioles 2019 second-round draft pick has had a solid start to his professional carer with the Gulf Coast League Orioles.
Perhaps the biggest victory of the 2019 season for the Baltimore Orioles was convincing second-round draft pick Gunnar Henderson to sign with the organization rather than play college baseball at Auburn.
The 6’3 shortstop from Alabama was ranked among the nation’s best high school prospects and earned strong words of praise from MLB Pipeline who wrote “Henderson produces a lot of hard contact from gap to gap. He shows more bat speed from the left side of the plate as well as power that’s started to catch up to his hitting ability as he continues to add muscle to his 6-foot-3 frame. He has been a little faster this year as well, more consistently recording above-average run times.”
After signing Henderson to a 2.3 million dollar signing bonus to keep him from college, they assigned him to the Gulf Coast League where he is off to a hot start.
In 21 games played Henderson is slashing .299/.375/.442 with a home run and 11 RBI’s. The strong numbers come after Henderson struggled to start the season as he went 2-17 before a run of multi-hit games helped boost his batting average to near .300.
Perhaps the one aspect of Henderson’s game keeping him from a promotion to join first-round pick Adley Rutschman in Aberdeen is his defense. In 15 games at Shortstop Henderson has a fielding percentage of .906 as he’s made six errors thus far this summer.
The 18-year-old is the Orioles seventh-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline with an MLB ETA of 2023. Thus, there’s no need to rush his development with a premature call-up to Aberdeen.
Regardless of where he’s assigned Henderson has plenty of time to work on his defense while continuing to perfect his craft at the plate as he works his works his way to the majors where he is expected by many to be the Baltimore Orioles shortstop of the future.