BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – CSU Bakersfield baseball outfielder Junior Damian Henderson joins the Cincinnati Reds and becomes the 23rd Roadrunner baseball player to sign with a Major League Baseball organization over the program’s 12-year history.
According to CSU Bakersfield Athletics, Henderson recorded at least one hit in 12 of the team’s 14 games, hitting .321 and leading CSUB in 17 hits, 5 extra-base hits, .446 on-base percentage, .528 slugging-percentage and 10 runs batted in.
Henderson was a projected selection in the 2020 MLB Entry Draft, prior to the league’s decision to shorten this summer’s draft to just five rounds, said CSUB Athletics. He is the seventh `Runner to sign a professional contract under current head coach Jeremy Bears Jeremy Beard.
“It’s great to see Damian take the next step towards his dream of becoming a big league player,” said Beard. “He has as much physical talent as any player I’ve coached in my career and has professional potential both as a hitter and on the mound. We’ve all seen what he can do at the plate, but not many left-handers can throw 96 with an above average curveball.”
A native of Raleigh, N.C., Henderson began his collegiate career at Salt Lake City CC before matriculating to Bakersfield in 2019. As a sophomore, he hit .236 with 12 extra-base hits and 17 runs batted in while appearing in 48 games for the `Runners. He hit .284 down the stretch in Western Athletic Conference competition, foreshadowing his breakout season in 2020, said CSU Athletics.
Henderson reached base multiple times in seven of the team’s 14 games this season and was on pace to drive in more than 40 runs for Bakersfield.