After Ryan Dempster blocked the Randall Delgado trade (yes, that one initially was terribly difficult to stomach) the Cubs were then forced to settle with the Rangers for 3B Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks, the latter being our subject of scrutiny. At the time of the trade Hendricks was in High-A ball pitching a 2.82 ERA over 130.2 innings, with two complete games and, wait for it, 15 walks. Right off I was impressed.
At the beginning of this year Hendricks was in AA. Considering his performance thus far, this made sense. What the man has done in AA, in spite of my already high expectations, is nothing short of phenomenal. Over 120.1 innings this year, Kyle Hendricks has held is opponents to 33 runs, 25 of them earned. That is an ERA of 1.87. He struck out 97 batters in that span.
Why do scouts overlook him? From what I have read (which there really is not that much to read on the guy) it is because of his lack of overpowering stuff on the mound. His fastball isn't going to blow anyone away and the swing and miss potential just isn't always there. Skepticism naturally ensues.
However, over his minor league career Kyle Hendricks has pitched in 66 games and started 45 of them. His ERA is 2.43 and has walked only 1.45/9, while striking out 7.65/9, with a WHIP of 1.03. Given the undeniably impressive numbers, I say we give the kid a shot. At the very least, please promote him to AAA. I would love for any perspective on Hendricks from the community!