#5 2020 Prospect Gunnar Henderson – SS

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photo by Craig Landefeld

Name: Gunnar Henderson (click link for full 2019 scouting report)
Position: SS
Age as of 6/30/20: 19
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Current Grade: 30
Future Grade: 50
Ceiling Grade: 65

Most Likely Future Role: Everyday SS/3B, occasional All-Star
Ceiling: Perennial All-Star

Career Stats
Quick Scouting Report Update: Not one player in the auxiliary camp made more strides than this 19-year old did when he opened some eyes with his tools, work ethic, character, athleticism and ability to make adjustments. When he arrived in camp, he not surprisingly struggled against the more experienced pitchers, but instead of letting the struggles snowballs, he went to work, made some adjustments in his swing, and was one of the best hitters in the camp by the end. Moved to more of an upper cut swing that allowed his raw power to play more though it came with some more swing and miss (today’s baseball).

At 6-3, 215 pounds, Henderson is already a big guy and there are legitimate concerns that he’ll grow out of shortstop. For now though, his athleticism gives him plenty of first step quickness and he has plenty of arm to stay at SS. His hands play well and if he eventually just grows out of SS, he should be able to make a successful move to third base. The good news is his athleticism and arm strength gives him a chance to bring actual defensive value as well as offensive value.

Henderson runs well too, though he won’t be a big stolen base threat. While he may not have the pure bat speed of a Ryan Mountcastle, he does have a similar profile with the bat, with maybe more raw power at the same stage.

Obviously this is an aggressive placement for a player who has never played above the Gulf Coast League, but if his auxiliary camp performance is any indicator of his ability to make adjustments and hit experienced pitching, he might move faster than previous thought.

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Tony Pente
Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.