Quick Looks at Hendricks and Shoemaker

Just a couple of pitchers this week. Between an extended Labor Day weekend and a computer crash, I could only view two guys.

Kyle Hendricks

Why I watched: A rookie with a 1.91 ERA who doesn’t throw over 90 mph

Game Watched: 8/29 vs Cardinals

Game Thoughts
• Man he throws slow. He has one huge set of balls to keep throwing his fastball in their, which he does with confidence. His sinker was 86-87 in the game I watched. He just isn’t going to strikeout many batters as seen by his 15% K%.

• He seemed to get by on two traits, he threw strikes (5.4 BB%) and lived throwing to the U-shaped zone on the edge of the strikezone. With the borderline strikes, he was able to generate weak contact. This can be seen by his 49% GB% and .246 BABIP.

• As for his other pitchers, a curveball and change, they weren’t good in the game. His change has been good this season with a 15% SwStr% and a 48% GB%. Both are above average. His curve has acceptable swing and miss (9.5%), but has a great GB% (57%).

Final thoughts: I just have not seen enough of him to convince me he can keep up the results. I would not be surprised one bit if his ERA from now to season’s end was near 4.00 (which is where his ERA estimators are hanging out).


Matt Shoemaker

Why I watched: A rookie who is 12th in the league in K%-BB% (min 100 IP)

Game Watched: 8/31 vs A’s

Game Thoughts
• Plus beard

• Both of the right-hander’s 90-92 mph fastballs are nothing special. The 2-seamer breaks a bit to the release side. He does start out batters with his fastball, but it is normally on the edges of the zone. They seems to be more effective once batters start looking for his breaking pitches.

• Oh the change-up/splitter. It’s pretty nasty. It just falls off right at the end. Currently it has a 23% SwStr% (elite) and 49% GB% (above average).

• In the game I watched, his slider was the most impressive pitch. It kind of acts like a hard curve. Not much horizontal movement and can drop in for a called strike. He has thrown it for strikes 48% of the time this season. It gets a nice 17% SwStr% and 52% GB%.

• He is a strike thrower and 64% of his pitches are first strikes (61% is league average).

• He will throw his fastball high in the zone. It is the same eye plane as his slider and splitter/change comes in on when they go for strikes. All three pitches work off each other.

• He has little horizontal movement on his pitches (some on the 2-seamer). They all break differently vertically.

• I was not impressed with his curveball which he rarely throws.

Final thoughts: His ability to get batters out is because of his change/splitter and slider. He needs these pitches because his fastball is nothing special. If he can stay healthy, I could see him pitch effectively for a while because the he doesn’t rely on elite velocity.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

Comments are closed.