2019 MLB Draft Profile: SS Gunnar Henderson, Morgan Academy (Ala.)

Gunnar Henderson

Our next MLB Draft profile is on prep shortstop Gunnar Henderson, who has been linked to the Dodgers in a few different mock drafts. He also fits their profile of a draft prospect.

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Previous profiles

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Vitals
6’3, 195 pounds
Position: Shortstop
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
DOB: June 29, 2001

Location
Selma, Ala.
Commitment: Auburn

Rankings
Baseball America: 30
ESPN: 41
FanGraphs: 43
MLB.com: 27
Perfect Game: 23

Slot recommended bonus (No. 25): $2,740,300
Slot recommended bonus (No. 31): $2,312,000

Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and video.

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The Dodgers have leaned toward college players in the first round of Billy Gasparino’s drafts, but they have taken one prep position player (Gavin Lux, whose name will likely come up again in this profile) and one pitcher (JT Ginn). Henderson fits the mold of athletic, up-the-middle talent the Dodgers tend to favor.

Henderson has improved his draft stock this spring by performing well at the plate. He profiles to be at least an average hitter at the plate with above-average power. At shortstop, that’s a premium. He has added strength to his frame that has helped him be more of an offensive threat at the plate. He peppers the gaps with line drives and as he matures, some of those will start going over the fence. He has a quick bat and makes loud contact.  The biggest concern at the plate is that he hasn’t faced a lot of premium velocity. He’s also an above-average runner who could use his speed on the base paths to swipe some bases.

Defensively, some wonder if he’ll be able to remain at shortstop — especially if he continues to add bulk. But he has soft enough hands and plenty of arm for shortstop. It’s reminiscent of Corey Seager, and Seager is even bigger than Henderson is. With the Dodgers’ ability to develop Seager and make him at least an average defensive shortstop, they could probably do the same for Henderson. And if he has to move to third base, the bat should play there.

Video

Videos courtesy of Prospect Pipeline and 2080 Baseball.

Henderson reminds me a lot of a Lux-Seager hybrid. He seems like the kind of kid who could end up being a star if he’s developed correctly. Since we’ve seen the Dodgers develop Seager and are in the process of developing Lux positively, he might be the perfect pick for the Dodgers at either of their first-round picks.

He’s committed to Auburn, but a $2.5-plus million signing bonus would probably get him to forego that commitment.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.