As a senior, Hanifee’s fastball topped out at 94 mph. He also throws a slider and a changeup.
“We have an adult wooden bat league in Rockingham County, where we live, which is full of college guys, former pro guys, high school guys. It’s a great league, and last year I think he pitched 14 innings in that, so as far as the number of miles on his arm, they’re pretty low,” Sean Hanifee said. “I think that’s one thing the scouts really liked and probably contributed to him going in the draft as early as he did.”
Morales reportedly attended every one of Hanifee’s starts this past spring.
“He has a pretty high ceiling,” Morales said of Hanifee. “He’s one of the best athletes in my entire territory, he’s got a super fluid delivery that he repeats, and just the fact that he hasn’t pitched much and how athletic he is bodes well for the future.
“He has a huge upside and throws a lot of strikes and we think he has a chance to be a starting pitcher in the middle of the rotation.”
All told, the Orioles reportedly made 14 visits to see Hanifee, including once just to watch him play shortstop.
“Just to be able to put an Orioles hat on at some point and say, ‘I’m a professional baseball player and I play for the team I grew up cheering for,’ probably doesn’t happen to often,” Sean Hanifee said. “[Harford County native] Cal Ripken Jr. had that opportunity. I’m not in any way trying to make a comparison between him and Cal Ripken, but to grow up in the area and then play for [the hometown team], I always thought that was a cool story with Cal Ripken. Now Brenan kind of gets to live the same thing.”
Hanifee expects to spend the duration of the summer as a member of the Gulf Coast Orioles, who play their home games at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Progression through Baltimore’s minor league system will then likely begin at Aberdeen (short-season), with possible stops along the way at Delmarva (Low-A), Frederick (High-A), Bowie (Double-A) and Norfolk (Triple-A).
“One of the more exciting things to look forward to is just working with different guys and seeing other people’s opinions [on how I pitch],” Hanifee said. “Getting looked at by a bunch of different people is what helps the most, probably. A little bit from this guy and a little bit from that guy, and hopefully a little bit adds up to a lot and you become a better pitcher.”
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig
Turner Ashby (Va.) senior Brenan Hanifee pitches the ball during practice in April.