SPOKANE, WA - The Chicago Cubs have the best record in baseball and starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks is playing a major role in their success as the North Siders seek to capture their first World Series since 1908.
The 26-year-old right-hander from Dartmouth University made his pro debut with the Spokane Indians in 2011 and took the Northwest League by storm, posting a 1.93 ERA in 32.2 innings while striking out 36 and walking just four. Although not a hard-thrower, Hendricks showed the pinpoint control and cerebral approach to pitching that would allow him to continue to climb the ladder and earn him the nickname of "The Professor".
Hendricks continued to throw well in 2012 for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A+) before he was traded from the Rangers to the Cubs as part of the Ryan Dempster deadline deal. The move didn't faze Kyle though, as his continued dominance opened the door for him to make his Major League debut on July 10, 2014 at Wrigley Field. Hendricks was sensational in his rookie season, posting a 7-2 record and 2.46 ERA on the way to a seventh place finish in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
He followed that up with a strong sophomore season in 2015 where he went 8-7 and struck out 167 in 180 innings, making up for an average fastball with a devastating changeup. It's been business as usual for Hendricks this season, as he's teamed up with Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Jason Hammel, and Jon Lester to form a daunting starting rotation. He twirled a complete game five-hitter against the Phillies - and former Indians teammate Jerad Eickhoff - on May 28 and picked up a career-high 12 strikeouts on June 19 against the Pirates.
"Kyle's one of the best pitchers in the National League right now and nobody's talking about it," said Cubs manager, Joe Maddon. "His ability to command his fastball which permits the other pitches to play off that. The contact is not very hard. Spectacular."
Class is in session, and the Professor plans on schooling hitters all summer long.
The Spokane Indians are the Short Season Class 'A' Affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Ticket Packages and Hospitality Areas for the 2016 Spokane Indians season are available now. For more information, please visit SpokaneIndians.com or call (509) 343-OTTO (6886). Parking at all Spokane Indians games is FREE!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.