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Dragons on Deck: Ryan Hendrix

January 17, 2020

Position:  Right-handed Relief PitcherHendrix was the Cincinnati Reds 5th round selection in the 2016 draft out of Texas A&M University.

Position:  Right-handed Relief Pitcher
Hendrix was the Cincinnati Reds 5th round selection in the 2016 draft out of Texas A&M University.

2019 Season:  Hendrix battled injuries in 2019 that limited him to just 19 innings at Double-A Chattanooga, but the bottom line after his fourth professional season was that the Reds thought highly enough of his potential to place him on their 40-man roster. Three other former Dragons, catcher Tyler Stephenson and pitchers Tony Santillan and Tejay Antone, were also added to the Reds roster for the first time. In 2019 with Chattanooga, Hendrix posted a 2.33 earned run average in 16 relief appearances in his first season at the Double-A level. His secondary numbers were outstanding. He allowed an opponent's batting average of only .200, and he notched 23 strikeouts with only eight walks. Hendrix has now made 132 appearances in his career in the Reds farm system (all but two as a reliever) and his overall numbers are superb. He has a career ERA of 2.55 with 234 strikeouts in 173 innings while opposing hitters have combined to hit only .211 against him.
With the Dragons:  Hendrix first joined the Dragons just months after throwing his final pitch at Texas A&M in 2016 and then returned to Dayton to start the 2017 season. He pitched in 38 games for the Dragons as a reliever and put up some very strong numbers. He struck out 92 batters in 61 innings, a ratio that would rival Rob Dibble in his prime. Opponents batted a combined .184 against him and his ERA was 2.66. 
Outlook:  Just like his former Dragons teammate Joel Kuhnel, Hendrix has risen through the Minor Leagues with great success but has largely remained under the radar on prospect lists, mostly because relief pitchers typically do not receive much consideration on those lists. If you look at the 2019 Reds top prospect list released by Baseball America, the highest rated relief pitcher was listed at #20. It is a practice that probably needs re-evaluated when you consider that in 2019, about 40 percent of the Reds total innings pitched went to relief pitchers. Hendrix has an above average fastball in the mid-90's and an even better power curve. He could reach the Major Leagues in 2020.
Fun Facts:  Hendrix was the closer on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2015. In July of that season, he pitched the final inning of a no-hitter against Cuba, reportedly marking the first time that the Cuban national team had ever been no-hit in international competition. Hendrix's catcher that day, Chris Okey of Clemson, would later serve as his catcher in Dayton with the Dragons.