In 2009, Tyler Henley spent the entire season at Springfield accumulating, over 473 plate appearances a .383 wOBA. In 2010, he’s had 157 plate appearances and the results have been dismal.
I don’t think there’s much to read into his 2010 season. Henley began the season in Memphis but was hampered by injuries back to the start of May posting a dismal .257 wOBA. After rehabbing, he was sent to Springfield in June where he played for about three weeks terrorizing pitchers before hitting the shelf again at the end of June.
I saw Henley during the midst of his impressive 2009 campaign in Springfield:
Love the swing. Nice smooth stroke that will have gap power and 10 HRs a year. He’s got above average speed on the bases and looks very good in the outfield. I wish he’d play a little shallower in RF to start but for the most part his athleticism makes up for it. Arm would play in right but I think it’s a better fit for centerfield. [...] Looks like a solid outfielder on a big league team with an outside chance to be an everyday player. Not a world beater but a good prospect.
Henley would hit for a .303/.367/.482 line in Springfield managing a .383 wOBA. Even correcting for park and batted ball rates, Henley still had a .361 wOBA. Relative to the .329 league average, that would have made Henley worth two wins relative to the average hitter over the course of a 600-700PA season. It was an impressive season for Henley and one that probably put him just behind the likes of Allen Craig, Jon Jay and Joe Mather in outfield depth.
The injury of 2010 has allowed a few players to make the jump past Tyler, namely Adron Chambers and Jim Rapoport. I’ve long been impressed with Henley (much more so than Rapoport) but Chambers slipping ahead could be another lefty bat of comparable skillsets for competition. Great for the Cardinals; not so great for Tyler. The Memphis outfield continues to look crowded in 2011 with names like Chambers, Rapoport, Andrew Brown, Aaron Luna and Tommy Pham all potentially in the mix for a spot there. Daryl Jones is another name that conceivably could get the bump up to AAA. I’d expect Henley to be assigned to Memphis if for no other reason than he’ll be 26 in June of next year.
As a fun look back, here is erik’s 2009 Q & A with Tyler Henley.