PHOENIX – It is unusual that catchers of Payton Henry’s encounter degree get an invitation to important-league spring teaching. The point that he is in the Milwaukee Brewers’ camp speaks volumes of what they think of him, as equally prospect and individual.
“We know he was in (low Class) A ball final calendar year but we definitely favored the way he caught,” claimed Charlie Greene, the Brewers’ catching teacher and industry coordinator. “He did a very good position there. They only give just one Gold Glove at each and every position in the minors and he was the catcher. So, that usually means a ton.
“We thought this would be a very good option for him. He’s a youthful catcher but it is heading to aid him to be about these significant-league catchers, see what they do each and every day to get ready. We think Payton is heading to be a definitely very good catcher and this is only heading to aid him. Not numerous catchers his age get an option like this.”
A sixth-spherical draft decide on in 2016 out of superior college in Pleasurable Grove, Utah, Henry performed his initial comprehensive time of pro ball at Class A Wisconsin final calendar year. He was quite impressive powering the plate, making only 3 problems in 98 games and throwing out 48% of the runners making an attempt steals, the most effective mark in the Midwest League.
Henry, 21, experienced his ups and downs offensively, ending with a .234 batting typical, 10 homers and 41 RBI, with a .327 on-base proportion and .707 OPS.
Being invited to significant-league camp was the final thing on Henry’s head entering the offseason, so the call from Greene was equally astonishing and exciting.
“I didn’t hope it,” claimed Henry, a Midwest League all-star. “It was definitely neat when Charlie referred to as. My household was delighted I was delighted.”
The Brewers recognized catchers at Henry’s encounter degree almost certainly are not ready to contend with significant-leaguers in activity action but that was not the intent of the invitation. They regard Henry so extremely, in equally phrases of expertise and leadership, they figured he would profit in other means.
“He’s a prospect,” manager Craig Counsell claimed. “It’s definitely exciting for us to see a guy like this in camp. This is an ‘eyes and ears’ camp for him, a way to study a ton.
“He has bought rather a way on his growth curve still left but he is a gifted, youthful participant. It kind of sticks out right away. It is largely educational.”
Over and above Henry’s advanced defensive function powering the dish, the Brewers favored the way he took cost on the industry with a superior electricity degree. Those people qualities appear normal for Henry, whose father, Darrin, was his superior college coach.
“It was just something the place I was equipped to engage in perfectly and kind of determine myself out, and what kind of participant I am,” claimed Henry. “Obviously, I still have a ton of home to develop and study. I’m just seeking to place in the time and function to make certain I’m ready for any scenario.”
As for obtaining to significant-league camp so early in his career, Henry claimed, “Obviously, all these guys are below for a motive, and they’ve been below a ton longer than I have. Just holding my mouth shut, being concentrated and you can not forget about to have some entertaining and just be you.”
However by far the minimum seasoned catcher in camp, Henry has amazed pitchers who have thrown bullpen periods to him, together with people who’ve been in the majors a whilst. Correct-hander Zach Davies, who made four begins for Wisconsin final summertime whilst on rehab assignment, has pitched to Henry in true games, and came away amazed.
“The initial time I was there, the way we conversed was distinct from most guys,” Davies claimed. “He needed to know items. Correct away, you could see his mentality was distinct. Having it that youthful was that a great deal additional impressive. That is heading to aid him shoot through the method, I think.
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“It doesn’t surprise me (that he received the Gold Glove). It definitely doesn’t. He’s heading to be a good participant. You can just see it. The function he did and what he confirmed final calendar year is the correct motive he’s below. He warrants to be below. It wasn’t a favor. It is a good group of guys to study from. He can see what is in front of him.”
These types of praise is pleasing for Henry to listen to, but he considers it all portion of the position. Every little thing he learns in the Brewers’ camp will profit him in the very long run, so he has tried to engage in the position of human sponge, soaking up as a great deal information and facts as he can from day to day.
“Obviously, I still have a ton of home to develop and study,” he claimed. “I worked difficult about the offseason to be ready for any scenario. It was the identical heading into final calendar year – be well prepared for everything. It is been amazing, just to be about every person and be about all these guys. It is a super-neat encounter for me, and a good studying encounter.
“I really don’t have a key recipe to almost everything clicking (at Wisconsin) or everything like that, but it was something the place I was equipped to engage in perfectly and kind of determine myself out, and determine out what kind of participant I am. I think that was significant.”
Greene instructed Henry to keep the spring camp invitation to himself right up until the Brewers made it official, but did give authorization for him to call his father.
“I referred to as him right soon after and gave him the very good news,” Henry recalled. “He wasn’t so certain about it at the begin. He was like, ‘Are you certain?’ So, it was kind of amusing.”
It was not a crank call. In point, this may possibly be the begin of something significant for Henry.