Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Henriks is proving he belongs in Rochester

At the onset of the season, there were many in the Twins organization that felt Kyle Gibson was the pitcher to watch in the minor leagues. Gibson has encountered his struggles this year and now many have turned their eyes to another prospect that has started to make his mark for the Rochester Red Wings.

Liam Hendriks has been one of the hottest prospects in the Twins organization this season. He started the season with the New Britain Rock Cats after only getting 74.2 innings at Fort Myers last season. For anyone that doubted his presence in the Rock Cats rotation, he quickly proved them wrong.

Hendriks Stat Summary (AA- New Britain)
W-L: 8-2
IP: 90.0
K/9: 8.10
BB/9: 1.80
K/BB: 4.50
WHIP: 1.14
BABIP: 3.10

In the middle of the month of July, the Twins had a need for a starter at the AAA level. Because of the season he was having at AA, the most logical option to turn to for the Twins was Mr. Liam Hendriks. He has only made three starts for the Red Wings and he already seems to be finding his groove in the International League.

Hendriks Stat Summary (AAA- Rochester)
W-L: 2-0
IP: 19.2
K/9: 4.58
BB/9: 0.46
K/BB: 10.00
WHIP: 1.17
BABIP: 3.24

There is a very small sample size to look at for Hendriks since he has only been at the AAA level for less than two weeks. Some of his statistics show the trends that a person would expect to see when a player goes from the AA level to the AAA level. He has not been striking batters out at as high of a rate and players have a higher BA against him. As he gets more time at this level, those numbers could start to even out. It is also good to note that his WHIP has stayed almost exactly the same in the transition between the two levels of the Twins farm system.

One experienced major leaguer gave his voice of approval to Liam Hendriks over the weekend. Denard Span was on a rehab assignment with the Rochester Red Wings and he had a first hand view of the pitching performance that Hendriks put together on Sunday. Span was talking via Twitter to a player that has a connection to Hendriks, Luke Hughes. Both Hughes and Hendriks are natives of Australia. 

It is a simple message but one that gets the point across. Span got quite the impression of Hendriks in the seven innings he pitched for the Red Wings on Sunday night. Also, Span is not too bad of a reference to have on Hendriks' resume as he works his way to the major league version of the Twins.

Just a reminder that all week I am running a contest/giveaway for some great 1991 World Series DVD sets. They are a must have item for any Twins fan and the contest to get the items is pretty easy to do.


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