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 Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Stacking up

Would you believe me if I told you Hendricks’ first four seasons are comparable to Clayton Kershaw’s?

  • Kershaw’s first four seasons: 47-28, 2.88 ERA, 1.173 WHIP, 135 ERA+
  • Hendricks’ first four seasons38-22, 2.94 ERA, 1.098 WHIP, 138 ERA+

Now, does this mean Kyle Hendricks is the next Clayton Kershaw? Not quite. They’re just too different in too many ways. And it’s important to note Kershaw was only 20 years old when he made his MLB debut. Hendricks was 24. But it is an impressive overview of what Hendricks has accomplished thus far.

While we can’t definitively say Hendricks is destined for a long career as a rotation ace, we also can’t ignore the trajectory he’s on. And his pitching style is more conducive to a prolonged career than someone who relies on an overpowering fastball to get outs.

Under the lights

Once again, the Chicago Cubs have found themselves in the middle of a possible championship run. They’ll face the Washington Nationals in Game 1 of the NLDS. Taking the mound will be Hendricks himself.

Next: Cubs will face Strasburg in Game 1

Two years ago, when the Cubs made the playoffs ahead of schedule, there were questions as to whether or not Hendricks would even make the playoff roster. Fast-forward to the present, and he’s the Cubs’ first choice to set the tone.

Once under the radar, Kyle Hendricks has arrived, and he’s perfectly content to shatter your expectations in the most mild-mannered way possible. Onward, Professor.