Getting to Know Kyle Hendricks Through Google

Editor’s Note: Usually, we try to stick to hard-hitting analysis of baseball here on the site. Given the incredible tedium of Spring Training, though, we’ve decided to shift gears slightly to some hard-hitting analysis of Google search results. We hope you enjoy. Here’s Carlos Portocarrero …

Kyle Hendricks is having a great spring. All those rumblings of Adam Warren potentially stealing his rotation spot to start the season are but a distant memory. Even Warren’s staunchest supporters (I don’t know, his parents?) know how ludicrous this sounds now that Hendricks is throwing so well and getting such rave reviews from the coaching staff.

I’m just glad that people are coming to their senses when it comes to a 26-year-old pitcher that’s thrown 260 career innings and has a 3.34 FIP, a 1.137 WHIP, and a 3.54 DRA. What else can I guy do? If only he could throw easy 95 mph gas people would start having a little faith…

Regardless, Hendricks seems primed to have another very good season of baseball pitching—we know that much about him. But if you really want to get to know a guy, there’s no substitute for a good-ol’ fashioned Google Image search. Join me as we lean on the almighty Google and get to know the real Kyle Hendricks. Here’s the first thing I found:


Right off the bat, Google tells us that it knows there’s a model out there that shares the same name, but Google is also smart enough to know that we’re probably not looking for that Kyle Hendricks. We should also ding Google here as it has pulled in an old Dartmouth image into the “model” category. If you’re interested in looking at tons of pictures of shirtless dudes with toned, oiled-up abs, and pulsing pectorals, this is where you’ll want to click. I mean, I think that’s what you’ll see, I don’t know. I didn’t click on it. I mean, a buddy of mine clicked and told me what was there.


Here’s our baseline: the first result goes to his ESPN profile picture. The great part about the picture is that it’s a transparent PNG. All that means is ESPN has made it really easy for just about anyone to mess around with the background and have a little fun.




See, now you know what a PNG is good for. Let’s move on.


Here’s our first look at one of Hendricks’ quirks: he makes a weird, nervous-looking face when he’s pitching and it’s part of what makes his changeup so good. He comes at you looking like he’s about to uncork an Aroldis Chapman fastball and then that devastating change softly wobbles out of his hand. Pretty smart, no? Hendricks did major in Economics and also got himself a minor in math—so he knows what he’s doing with the facial twitching. And no, this is not a one-off image that I found:




I could go on and on, but I won’t. We’ve got more important business to cover, like this hat:


As Joel likes to remind us every single time Hendricks’ name comes up on the podcast, he (Hendricks, not Joel) went to Dartmouth College. And they somehow managed to pilfer the Detroit Tigers style “D” for their hats. It looks cool, and it makes Hendricks look a little bit older. Without the hat, this is just another 12-year-old kid smiling for his high school picture.


You can’t truly get to know Hendricks without talking about his hair. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. The best I can do is this: it looks like either a massive combover or he goes to Ted Koppel’s barber—I can’t quite decide.


The first of many “not-the-real Kyle Hendricks” images. I want to ding Google for having this guy place so high up in the search, but then again look at all those medals! He probably deserves to rank a little higher with all that bling…


I stared at this one for a long time to try to understand what was going on. At first blush it’s just your average manshake after a good game by your pitcher. But look at the fingers and the placement of Maddon’s thumb: that’s not how normal people do it. The thumbs are like a beacon that help us orient the rest of the shake, and it usually winds up next to the other guy’s thumb. LeBron show’s us how it’s done:


See how the thumbs are next to each other? That’s more what I would expect. Who knows, maybe Hendricks and Maddon have a secret, nerds-only handshake between the two of them. Or Dartmouth grads just can’t look cool shaking hands. My unproven, unconfirmed theory? Perhaps that’s how all players with awesome changeups shake hands.


It’s hard to tell from the angle, but I’m relatively confident that this is not our Hendricks and that is not the father that will one day teach him that devastating change.


For all the kids out there trying to learn a changeup (and you all should, as soon as you possibly can) take notice: this is what the grip to one of the best changes out there looks like. Of course, the grip alone does not a great changeup make—it’s the arm action that gets it done, but this is a good place to start. Kudos to Google for knowing how important the pitch is to Hendricks and including so many shots of his grip in the results. Also, did you see the mouth thing again??


The most contrasting picture of them all. It’s the only one I could find where Hendricks is legitimately unhappy. It was a game against the Marlins that the Cubs lost. If I ever get a chance to interview Hendricks in person, I think this is the look he’ll give me after the PR person tells him I’m the one that wrote this article. Sorry Kyle, no hard feelings!


Not the real Kyle Hendricks.


Not sure what’s going on here, but it looks like Anthony Rizzo is telling a really involved story to distract Hendricks as Starlin Castro steals his sunflower seeds. Gotta love rookie hazing! Don’t worry—they’ll all laugh about it later.


Amount of Photoshopping I did to this image to make Hendricks look like he’s actually nine years old: NONE!


Oddly enough, there are a lot of images in here with Maddon making strange faces. Not sure if he’s unimpressed or nonplussed or some other kind of “pressed.” But I think I understand what Google is trying to say here: There’s a lot of skepticism surrounding Hendricks, and while some of it has merit (Hendricks is young, can’t throw very hard, is a nerd, etc.), the images of Maddon looking like he’s about to get thrown in the dunk tank are saying, “What are you crazy? The kid is a good pitcher: open your eyes and pay attention.”


This was my favorite picture of them all. It’s actually from an article from our own Ryan Davis (on another site—what the heck Ryan?). In it, it looks like he’s stepping onto the field, the spotlight, his rightful place in the pantheon of good pitchers who aren’t just “OK for a 4-5 starter.”

It personifies what 2016 could be for Hendricks: his coming-out party. I just hope I’m not on the blacklist.

Lead photo courtesy Jake Roth—USA Today Sports.

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6 comments on “Getting to Know Kyle Hendricks Through Google”

Jared Wyllys

Color me a Kyle Hendricks enthusiast. Great stuff, Carlos.

Carlos Portocarrero

A really fun read, but I’m pretty shocked you didn’t point out how much he looks like Edward Norton Jr. in that pic below his Smokies’ image. Dead ringer.

Carlos Portocarrero

Fair point Joel, but I couldn’t look at that picture for very long. The rage forced me to turn away.


I definitely am closer to him now. Thank you.

PolitiJim (@politiJim)

My favorite Kyle pic was one I photoshopped for BleacherNation last year – “Kyli” Hendricks –

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