Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks: From under the radar to postseason ace

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 31: Kyle Hendricks
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 31: Kyle Hendricks /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The journey

Kyle Hendricks is affectionately known by fans and teammates alike as ‘The Professor.’ This stemming from his time at the Ivy League school Dartmouth, where he pitched from 2009 to 2011. Hendricks was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school in 2008 but opted instead to play college baseball.

This would prove to be a wise decision, as he went from being drafted in the 39th round in 2008 to being drafted in the eighth round in 2011 by the Texas Rangers. Choosing to forego his senior year at Dartmouth, Hendricks signed on with the Rangers and began his professional career in their minor league system.

In July of 2012, Hendricks was traded from the Rangers to the Chicago Cubs for Ryan Dempster. Perhaps best known for his Harry Caray impressions, you might be shocked to learn that Dempster was a decent pitcher, too. All jokes aside, Dempster was a beloved member of the Cubs, and he had some truly memorable years with the team. But he was 35 years old, and the Cubs were in the midst of a total rebuild.