Fort Worth Arlington Heights pitcher Blair Henley knew he had something special going on in March when he was throwing the second of what would become three consecutive no-hitters.
“It was one of those things where I wasn’t doing any thinking, I was just throwing and throwing whatever the catcher called,” the right-hander said. “It wasn’t about getting a strikeout or trying to fool someone, it was just throwing the ball and letting our defense do the rest.”
To go with the three no-hitters, Henley posted a 9-0 record, 0.12 ERA (one earned run), and he struck out 97 batters in 56 innings, to become the Star-Telegram Super Team Player of the Year.
Heights coach Shad Whiteley compared Henley’s no-hitter streak to a teenager’s mastery of a video game.
“He said it was like having a controller right there because whatever pitch was called, if he was calling for a breaking ball, that’s what was delivered,” Whiteley said.
Having been taken in the 22nd round of last week’s MLB amateur draft by the Yankees, Henley joins Southlake Carroll’s Hudson Sanchez (Padres), Saginaw Boswell’s Ulysses Cantu (Indians) and Justin Northwest’s Dustin May (Dodgers) as draftees on the Super Team.
“For me, I just wanted to get my velocity up this season,” said Henley, who also batted .346 with a .615 slugging percentage, 21 runs scored and 16 RBIs. “I had better control than I’ve probably ever had, so then it was just the idea of getting more speed on the ball. Coach Whiteley always said to me that if they can’t hit the fastball, why would you throw anything else.”
Henley, who signed with the Texas Longhorns in November, topped out in the low 90-mph range this season, but the movement on those pitches was a big reason big league scouts had interest and former Texas coach Augie Garrido recruited him.
“I haven’t really thought about all the draft stuff too much,” Henley said. “And what can you say about Coach Garrido, he’s a legend and one of the main reasons I signed with Texas was to play for him.
“It’s upsetting he’s gone, but I know they’ll make some good decisions down there and bring on some great coaches. That’s the kind of program they have.”
P Blair Henley, Sr., Arlington Heights: Posted a 9-0 record, 0.12 ERA, 97 strikeouts in 56 innings. Drafted by the Yankees in the 22nd round but signed with Texas, District 7-5A MVP.
P Drew Medford, Sr., Paschal: District 4-6A MVP is headed to TCU, was 6-2 with 2.11 ERA and 59 strikeouts.
P Spencer Hynes, Sr., Weatherford: Was 6-3 with a 1.42 ERA and 91 strikeouts.
P Matt Canterino, Sr., Southlake Carroll: Was 7-1 with 57 strikeouts and an 0.64 ERA.
C Shea Langeliers, Sr., Keller: Hit .387 with .694 slugging percentage and 31 RBIs. Also pitched mainly the sixth inning in a setup role.
INF Connor Neuman, Jr., Grapevine: Helped the Mustangs to the Class 5A state title, hitting .430 with 59 runs scored and 26 stolen bases.
INF Ulysses Cantu, Sr., Saginaw Boswell: Hit .381 with four homers and 23 RBIs, drafted in 6th round by Cleveland.
INF Griffin Benson, Sr., Aledo: Selected in the 23rd round by the Braves, hit .378 with .611 slugging percentage and 21 RBIs.
INF Hudson Sanchez, Sr., Southlake Carroll: Drafted by the Padres, signed and will report to rookie camp. Hit .374 with .648 slugging percentage.
OF Alex Palmer, Sr., Mansfield Summit: Hit .368 with 20 runs scored and 18 RBIs. Was also 5-2 with 70 strikeouts.
OF Phillip Childs, Sr., Euless Trinity: Hit .365 with 10 extra-base hits and a .576 slugging percentage with 18 runs scored and 21 RBIs.
OF Andruw McKenzie, Sr., Burleson Centennial: Hit .511 with a slugging percentage of .733, 12 extra-base hits and 21 RBIs.
UTIL Thomas Santos, Jr., Burleson Centennial: Had .700 slugging percentage with 15 extra-base hits and 32 RBIs, District 8-5A MVP.
Top Newcomer Bobby Witt, Fr., Colleyville Heritage: Hit .410 with 16 extra-base hits and 24 RBIs.
P Eric Walker, Arlington Martin: Made the Super Team for second consecutive year, posted a 7-3 record with 95 Ks and a 1.11 ERA.
P Dustin May, Justin Northwest: Dodgers’ third-round pick (101st overall) signed contract with $1 million bonus.
P Ivan Salas, Jr., Carter-Riverside: Salas was 5-2 with 48 strikeouts and a 1.54 ERA. Also had five extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases.
P Cody Bradford, Sr., Aledo: Was 6-4 with an 0.64 ERA and 87 strikeouts.
C Landon Gray, Sr., Granbury: Hit .408 for his career, jumped up to .488 this season with 21 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs.
INF Hunter Seay, Sr., Keller: Hit .345 with .575 slugging percentage while driving in 25 runs with 12 extra-base hits.
INF Kade Strowd, Sr., Mansfield Legacy: Hit .492 with 11 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. Also was 6-1 with 2.10 ERA.
INF Brian Klein, Sr., Timber Creek: Texas Tech signee hit .435 with a .576 slugging percentage and 27 RBIs.
INF Sergio Conchas, Sr., Paschal: Hit .374 with .556 slugging percentage, 33 RBIs and 10 doubles. Headed to Murray State.
OF Dylan Neuse, Jr., Keller Fossil Ridge: Hit .398 with a .689 slugging percentage with 28 runs scored and 13 RBIs.
OF Wesley Powell, Jr., Arlington Lamar: Hit .461 and OPS of 1.180 and .618 slugging percentage. Had nine extra-base hits with 22 runs scored and no errors in center field.
OF Preston Edison, Sr., Weatherford: Left fielder hit .430 with .581 slugging percentage and 22 RBIs.
OF Anthony Dominguez, Jr., Chisholm Trail: Batted .437 with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 5 HR, and 32 RBIs. Only eight strikeouts in 147 plate appearances.
UTIL Angel Valero, Jr., Trimble Tech: Hit .518 with 24 RBIs and 10 extra-base hits.