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12/7/1989 (27 y, 2 m, 12 d)
2011 June Amateur Draft - Round: 8, Pick: 23, Overall: 264, Team: Texas Rangers
$0.5M / 1 Years (2016)
Improved command and more effective usage of his secondary pitches helped Hendricks put together his breakout 2016 season, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. (2/1/2017)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Hendricks made a great first impression in his major league debut, but the 2.46 ERA concealed a major down-tick in his usually decent strikeout rate. His prospect status ensures he'll get a chance to correct that in 2015. Kyle is just about a lock for the number four spot in the rotation, and there is little reason to think he can't at least perform at a league average capacity. The telltale sign will be his strikeout rate. He showed a capacity for suppressing home runs in the minors, but his strikeout rate was always at least average. His low rate in 2014 does not forecast great success, but he's a young pitcher with the potential for improvement. There is of course a chance he's a Triple-A one-trick pony (his excellent changeup) whose control and low velocity only works in the minors, but that risk should be worth exploring given his early success. (
The Quick Opinion:
Hendricks should start the season in the Cubs rotation, but it's unlikely he'll be able to repeat his stellar success (2.46 ERA and 3.32 FIP) from 2014. That said, he could very well perform at league average, with the potential to develop into more. Watch the strikeout rate, though, if he can't make major league hitters miss, consider that the canary in the coal mine and cut bait.
Hendricks made his first major-league start on July 10, 2014, and has been a mainstay of the Cubs' rotation ever since. His 3.95 ERA last year isn't incredibly inspiring, but most peripheral stats suggest he pitched better than that number implies. Even with the Cubs' acquisition of John Lackey, Hendricks is still fairly firmly locked into a rotation spot to begin 2016. His 13-start rookie season saw Hendricks sport a sparkling 2.46 ERA, with an impressive 1.68 walks per nine. It also had some red (or at least yellow) flags, such as his Jamie Moyer-esque 5.27 strikeouts per nine and a suspiciously low 4.9% home run to fly ball ratio. The regression monster attacked Hendricks in all the expected ways last year; his HR/FB rate surged to 12.4%, his strand rate dropped from 78.5% to 69.9%, and his ERA jumped by nearly one-and-a-half runs. Hendricks did show one highly encouraging trait in 2015, which was his newfound ability to put hitters away. The 26-year-old added more than three strikeouts per nine innings, while maintaining a low walk rate. While the most likely outcome for 2016 lies somewhere between his 2014 and 2015 rates, it's important to note that Hendricks maintained 8.50 K/9 and 2.02 BB/9 rates for 100+ innings in Triple-A, before his call-up in 2014. (Scott Strandberg)
The Quick Opinion:
I view Hendricks as a medium-ceiling, high-floor fantasy pitcher for 2016. If he maintains his strikeout-to-walk ratio -- while improving his HR/FB rate and bumping up his strand rate a bit -- he could flirt with top-30 SP value. In a worst-case scenario, he's a pitch-to-contact guy who doesn't walk anyone and gets loads of run support. That's still valuable in most formats.
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Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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