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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 73: Lincoln Henzman

A healthy 2022 was key to getting this righty back on the radar

After two years away, Lincoln Henzman got back on the board in 2022.

Lincoln Henzman

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher
200 pounds
Age: 27
2018 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 23
2019 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 32
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking 63
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 79
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking N/R
2022 High Level Charlotte (AAA)
Age relative to high level -1.0 years
SSS rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system 15
Overall 2022 stats 2-4 ⚾️ 50 games (7 starts) ⚾️ 72 2⁄3 IP ⚾️ 5.82 ERA ⚾️ 1.693 WHIP ⚾️ 61 K ⚾️ 36 BB

With the exception of two starts in his freshman season, Henzman was exclusively a reliever for the Louisville Cardinals. His best season was as a junior, when he pitched in 27 games (saving 16) totaling 37 2⁄3 innings with a terrific 1.67 ERA and 0.85 WHIP — allowing just 22 hits (.169 OBA) and 10 walks (2.39 BB/9), striking out 37 (8.84 K/9). With those results, the White Sox drafted Henzman in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, with the intention of converting him into a starter.

After receiving a signing bonus of $450,000, Henzman pitched for the AZL Sox and Great Falls. In 11 combined outings (seven starts), he maintained a respectable 3.86 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 28 innings, allowing 27 hits (.262 OBA) and nine walks (2.89 BB/9) while striking out 17 (5.46 K/9).

Henzman went deeper into games in 2018 for Kannapolis, starting 13 and pitching 72 2⁄3 innings, with better-than-expected results. For the Intimidators, Henzman posted a 2.23 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, and allowed just 68 hits (.241 OBA) and eight walks (3.0%) while striking out 60 hitters (1.0 K/9). He was promoted to Winston-Salem on June 21, but was held to pitch counts as Henzman had already far exceeded his career high in innings. In 14 outings totaling 34 2⁄3 innings for the Dash, he posted a 2.60 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, ceding 34 hits (.256 OBA) and 10 walks (2.6 BB/9) while striking out 20 (5.2 K/9).

The 2019 season saw Henzman go through some struggles — particularly with putting hitters away. In nine starts spanning 41 innings for the Dash, he posted a 4.61 ERA and 1.37 WHIP as he relinquished 46 hits (.288 OBA) and 10 walks (2.2 BB/9) while fanning just 18 (4.0 K/9). He did earn a promotion to Birmingham in early June, and struggled against his more advanced opponents. In 15 starts totaling 79 1⁄3 innings for the Barons, Henzman compiled a 5.56 ERA and 1.44 WHIP as he surrendered 96 hits (.301 OBA) and 18 walks (2.0 BB/9) while striking out 44 (5.0 K/9). While he maintained his above-average control, but his command was lacking as he didn’t miss many bats due to a high OBA and low strikeout rate.

Unfortunately, Henzman missed 2020 and 2021 due to a combination of pandemic and injury. With such a troubling injury history (Henzman had Tommy John surgery as an amateur), it was a relief to see the righty back and mostly healthy for a full season in 2022.

On the flip side, the results weren’t ideal, although Henzman spent the bulk of his time at Triple-A Charlotte, knocking on the door, and even getting one (really bad) outing for the big club in 2022 Cactus League play. Don’t let those seven starts fool you, as you’ll recall the Knights had only one-third of their games in 2022 started by true members of the rotation, and Henzman’s innings total indicate every one of these starts was a bullpen game. Henzman’s most important stat for 2022 was his games total; seeing action in 50, after sitting for two years (post-pandemic, it hasn’t been disclosed but we have to assume something drastic, even a second TJS, given another year lost), is huge for him.

Henzman’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 91 (quirk in the ratings, perhaps?)
Walks 71
Strikeouts 52
K/BB 52
Hittable 33
vs. Power 33
Team Winning Percentage .592

When he’s on, Henzman’s repertoire includes a heavy sinking fastball that runs anywhere from 90-95 mph according to MLB Pipeline. He throws an upper-80s cutter, while also throwing an above-average changeup. That changeup has helped Henzman, as lefties have consistently hit him for a lower average than have righties. MLB Pipeline has graded his fastball as 60, changeup at 55, and control and cutter at 50.

Henzman will begin 2023 in Charlotte’s pen, playing an ever-important role given the recent losses of fellow starters-turned-relievers Jason Bilous and Kade McClure to other clubs. He is not on the short list of quick call-ups, but a hot start to the spring makes anything possible.

2023 South Side Sox Top 104 White Sox Prospects

73. Lincoln Henzman, RHRP
74. Vince Vannelle, RHRP
75. Brooks Baldwin, 3B-2B
76. James Beard, CF
77. Gabriel Rodríguez, RHSP
78. Ronny Hernandez, C
79. Troy Claunch, C
80. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
81. Tim Elko, 1B
82. Yoelvín Silven, RHRP
83. Trey Jeans, LHRP
84. Jerry Burke, RHSP
85. Carlos Jiménez, 1B
86. Mason Adams, RHSP
87. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
88. Ernesto Jaquez, RHSP
89. Laz Rivera, 3B
90. Xavier Fernández, C
91. Álvaro Agüero, CF
92. Ben Norman, RF
93. Erick Bello, RHRP
94. Adisyn Coffey, RHRP
95. Arnold Prado, RF
96. Alsander Womack, 2B
97. Johan Domínguez, RHSP
98. Evan Skoug, C
99. Noah Owen, RHSP
100. Javier Mora, 2B
101. Will Kincanon, RHRP
102. Yohemy Nolasco, RHSP
103. Billy Seidl, RHRP
104. José Rodulfo, RHRP