In St. Louis, baseball is king and winning starts in the draft. The Cardinals have long been a franchise who drafts well. The franchise has drafted great pitchers in the past like Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, Dan Haren and more recently MLBbros “Black” Jack Flaherty and Jordan Hicks. So the franchise knows how to pick a great arm. 

The team possesses a great scouting department and always has a solid farm system. That was no different when they drafted former Arkansas commit and flame-tossing marksmen Markevian “Tink” Hence in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft as a 17-year-old pitching prospect. 

Palm Beach manager Gary Kendall, raved about the projected future ace of the Cardinals staff. 

“You certainly see the velo , here’s a guy that throws in the upper 90’s, who touches 100 occasionally.”

Hence was lights out for the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Single-A Florida State League, allowing just one measly run in his first four starts.


Hence Was 63rd Pick Of 2020 MLB Draft: Minor League Season Canceled In 2020

When the Cardinals chose Hence with the 63rd overall pick in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft, they got a young melanated mound marauder with huge upside. But with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, the righty didn’t make his debut until 2021, after the 2020 Minor League season was shutdown. 

In 2021, Hence got his chance to step on the mound, pitching eight innings. Not a huge sample size, so his ERa, which hovered around 9.00 was misleading. His pure mechanics and other metrics suggested the promise that made him a high draft pick by the Cardinals was right around the corner. 

 He managed to strikeout 14 of the 26 batters he faced which further proved his ERA was nothing to worry about. In 2021, Hence’s velocity was in the range of 90-94 and topped out at 96 MPH. Very good for a young 18-year-old who didn’t get to play in 2020. But whatever the Cardinals did with him mechanics-wise from 2021 to 2022, has worked wonders.

Hence A Different Hurler In 2022: Striking Out Batters Repeatedly

Hence hit the road running in 2022. In his season debut he stayed in the mid-90’s on his fastball and sinker, topping out at 97.5 MPH. In three innings, he struck out five batters, allowed one hit, one walk, and one run which was earned.

Hence’s curveball is what’s going set him apart in his quest to become the ace of the Cardinals staff. While the pitch is still a work-in-progress, it’s already causing problems for hitters

Hence is currently 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, and as he continues to fill out in his development, you’ll see even more of the power stuff he has in his arsenal.

Hence/s work this season has allowed him to crack MLB’s Top 100 prospects list at 96. If he continues his trajectory throughout winter leagues, by next season he could crack the top 80-85. His expected arrival into the majors is 2024, and as of now there’s no reason not to believe he’ll be with the Redbirds at Busch Stadium for a long time.

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