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Jeff Hendrix Drafted By Yankees

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Jeff Hendrix became the 2nd Oregon St. player selected in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Jeff Hendrix became the 2nd Oregon St. player selected in the 2015 MLB Draft.
(Image by Andy Wooldridge)

Jeff Hendrix became the second Oregon St. player taken in this year's MLB Draft today, joining 2nd round choice Andrew Moore, who went to the Mariners organization, when the New York Yankees took the junior centerfielder in the 4th round, with the 123rd pick overall.

Hendrix, a Corvallis native, began as a walk-on, desiring to pursue baseball over football and basketball, which were also options for him coming out of Santiam Christian, and after an upwardly mobile first season, became Oregon St.'s every day centerfielder and leadoff hitter in his sophomore season.

Extensive roster turnover resulted in Hendrix being used in both the leadoff spot and subsequently as the regular #3 hitter in Coach Pat Casey's lineup, while becoming an even better center fielder.

Hendrix's decision to depart isn't as clear cut as Moore's, as his slot money is $456,800, so the size of his negotiated bonus will be a big factor. He did say last month that "It would be hard to turn down" any top 4 round draft selection.

Hendrix was actually draft eligible last year, unusual in the usually 3 year college commitment era that is actually an age 21 threshold, which he reached earlier than most, but he opted to return for his junior season, after being drafted by Kansas City in the 39th round.

His decision proved sound, as his draft stock rose, as he, like Moore, was named to both the Pac-12 First Team, for the second season in a row, and also to the Pac-12 Defensive First Team.

Hendirx started all 58 games, on of only 2 Beavers with K.J. Harrison to do so, and hit .339, with a .534 slugging percentage, getting a team high 75 hits, while also drawing a team high 38 walks, for an on-base percentage of .446, and a team high 118 total bases, which produced a team high 45 runs scored.

Consistency has been a Hendrix hallmark, as his career batting average is the exact same .339.

So is versatility, as he had the speed for 26 doubles and 10 triples in his career, but also some decent and increasing power, with 8 home runs, 6 of which came in his senior season.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com