I don't know alot about Kyle Hendricks.
He came from Texas along with Christian Villanueva in the 2012 Ryan Dempster trade.
This guy writing for SB Nation thinks neither Villanueva or Hendricks are "huge ceiling guys".
But last year, Hendricks was the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Put him next to Javier Baez as Player of the Year, and.. that looks kind of elite.
Hmm... he's writing a blog for ESPN.
He found his first start exhilirationg, but he also "...was disappointed with my fastball command, but was happy with being able to minimize and only give up one run."
Here's a Chicago Cubs report by Jesse Rogers.
Rogers starts off with a question that hints at what kind of pitcher Hendricks is - not overpowering but more of a "Maddux" type, who was Hendricks' hero growing up.
(Me too, except for the "growing up" part.)
And Jimmy from Champagne asks Hendricks who he'd like to strike out most in the majors.
Hendricks' replies with: "I’d rather get 21 ground balls in a game than strike someone out..."
Hmmm.. Greg Maddux hero... rather get ground balls...
Wait a minute, I'm getting a sense of this guy.
Here's a bit about him in Baseball Prospectus in an article titled "Top Tools. Best Slider/Changeup/Command" by Mark Anderson.
Anderson thinks that Hendricks is THE minor league pitcher with the best command.
I get it now: Hendricks is a COMMAND guy!
At the bottom it says the "All Time Tool" is Greg Maddux.
That always sounds weird because I'd never call him an "All Time Tool" unless I was picking a fight.
But here it's a compliment - he has the best command tool of all time.
Makes perfect sense.
And it also says that command should not be confused with control, because... "Command is the ability to consistently throw quality strikes in all four quadrants of the zone, while also demonstrating frequent accuracy in hitting the catcher’s target. At times, this can manifest by putting a fastball just off the plate for a batter to chase or snapping a breaking ball just below the knees."
The Cubs might have another Commander in the mold of Greg Maddux?
I'm all in, brother.
Just keep Larry Himes the hell away.
Hendricks starts today at 3:05 Chicago time, which is an hour earlier than it was yesterday since it's Daylight Saving's time and today we're all supposed to Spring Ahead.
Cubs/Brewers, listen to it on your At Bat App.
But it's not on At Bat video.
Here's the part I didn't read when I plunked down the $25 for a month of At Bad video access: "Access your MLB.TV Premium subscription to watch live video of more than 200 Spring Training games".
So so far, I've only gotten to see one Cubs game.
Really really disappointing.
Go Commander Kyle!