Markevian Hence, who goes by the nickname Tink, is one of the most underrated prospects in June’s MLB draft class.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-handed pitcher has an intriguing set of tools and tons of upside that gives him the potential to go in the top three rounds of this year’s five-round draft.
Although he made just one start this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hence has embraced the draft attention and focused on improving his skills through bullpen sessions.
“For the interview part, it’s just been really good to meet these guys and allow teams to get to know me,” Hence said. “And with not being able to pitch, I am still getting my work in and just treating it like a season. I’ve tried to still improve myself throughout this time.”
Hence throws a four-seam fastball, two-seamer, curveball, slider and changeup from a low-effort delivery. He exhibited solid command of all of his pitches last summer and fall.
His fastballs, which sit in the mid-90s, are his best pitches and are currently above-average offerings. His slider is his top off-speed pitch and generates swings and misses.
Despite his smaller frame, he has the repertoire, ability to repeat his delivery and athleticism that major league teams seek in a starting pitcher long term.
Before the start of his senior year, Hence focused on refining his changeup. Although he only pitched three innings this spring and didn’t have a chance to throw it consistently in games, Hence has continued to work on his changeup during this off time.
Hence throws two bullpen sessions a week and has made it a priority to work on improving his pitches. He is pleased with the growth he’s made with his changeup this spring and believes the consistent amount of repetitions have led to him generating a better feel and more confidence in the pitch.
“In my intrasquad that I had, I threw two great changeups,” Hence said. “I feel like it’s coming along really well. In my last couple of bullpens, I’ve seen improvements in it. I feel really comfortable with the pitch now.”
Besides likely having the chance to embark on a pro career this summer, Hence also is a University of Arkansas commit.
Growing up in Arkansas, Hence has had a passion for Razorback athletics from an early age. The program’s track record for developing talent for pro baseball also factored into Hence’s decision, he said.
Regardless of if he turns pro or honors his commitment to Arkansas, Hence is eager for the next step in his baseball career.
“I am just sitting back and hoping everything works out,” Hence said. “I know God has a plan and whatever happens, happens.”
Read a detailed in-depth profile on Markevian Hence’s development here.
Read more stories on top 2020 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for five years. He’s interviewed 191 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.