Padres Draft: LSU’s Cole Henry would be great value in the second round

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

We look at how LSU’s Cole Henry would be a great pick for the Padres in the upcoming MLB Draft.

Next Wednesday, the Padres will begin an abbreviated two-day conquest of adding another round of prospects to the farm system. Because the draft has been shortened to just five rounds, General Manager AJ Preller needs to hit on every pick.

While pitching talent is likely to be on the board when the Friars are on the clock with the eighth overall pick, they can certainly wait until the second round to grab a future starting pitcher.

Enter Cole Henry.

As a former 38th round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in the 2018 MLB Draft, Henry has been through the draft process already. He obviously chose not to sign and headed off to LSU to play collegiate baseball. At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Henry has the prototypical size for a starting pitcher at the big-league level.

He’s a draft-eligible sophomore and earned Freshman All-SEC honors. That year, Henry made 14 appearances – including 11 starts – and struck out 72 batters in 58.1 innings while limiting the opposition to a .226 average.

Though he was limited by injuries towards the end of the year, Henry returned for an important series against Florida, tossing 5.1 innings while striking out 12 to go along with no walks.

Before the shutdown, he was off to a superb start, striking out 23 through his first four starts while spinning a 1.90 ERA. He put up terrific performances against Indiana and Texas this year, striking out a combined 18 batters while allowing just two runs over ten innings of work.

He already has three pitches, of which his fastball tops out in the mid-90s. Henry is your ideal power pitcher and complements the fire with a devastating curveball. Had he shown a longer track record, Henry would have easily slid into the first round.

Henry projects closest to Charlie Morton or Archie Bradley.

Morton 2019 stats: 3.05 ERA, 7.1 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9, 11.1 K/9

Bradley 2019 stats: 3.52 ERA, 8.5 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 4.6 BB/9, 11.0 K/9

Henry LSU career: 3.03 ERA, 7.6 H/9, 0.5 HR/9, 2.8 BB/9, 11.1 K/9