The Nationals selected yet another college pitcher when they took LSU sophomore Cole Henry with the 55th overall pick on Thursday in the second round of the MLB draft.
Henry is big. He's 6-foot-4, 211 pounds. He also has limited college experience. Henry made 11 starts as a freshman in the SEC. He made four more starts this year before the college season was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He will be a challenge to sign since he is a draft-eligible sophomore. They usually command more money. Though, Henry said on a conference call Thursday that "my plan is to sign."
Henry had arm soreness at the end of 2019. He sat down with his father and others to start a search for why the arm problems were popping up. He changed his delivery, and, Henry said, everything has been fine since. He entered his sophomore season as the Tigers' top starter.
"What in my delivery is putting all this pressure on my arm to cause these injuries or whatever it may be?" Henry said. "We started going to work and we actually found out my arm is really long and was kind of dragging behind me in my delivery. We went straight to work, tried to shorten up my arm path a bit, try to take some stress off my arm and it worked out great for me. Really haven't had any issues with my arm. Was able to pitch throughout the fall and into the spring until the season got cancelled, all through quarantine and up to now."
Henry went 4-2 with a 3.39 ERA, 72 strikeouts and 18 walks in 58 1/3 innings as a freshman season at LSU. His ERA dropped to 1.89 in four starts during his sophomore season. Only one of those starts was against an SEC opponent.
Henry joins a long list of pitchers selected by the Nationals in the early rounds of recent drafts. High school pitcher Mason Denaburg was the top choice in 2018. Seth Romero and Dane Dunning preceded him. Erick Fedde was the organization's top pick in 2014. Lucas Giolito was their first pick in 2012.
Keeping with this trend, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli with the 22nd overall pick Wednesday night.
The Nationals have five total picks across the five rounds of the two-day draft.
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