The Cincinnati Reds drafted Ryan Hendrix out of Texas A&M in the 5th round of the 2016 draft. The team took the strong armed reliever and sent him to Billings for two weeks before promoting him to Dayton to finish the year. To start the 2017 season Hendrix returned to Dayton to pitch out of the Dragons bullpen. The first week of the season went as well as could be expected. The right hander threw 4.2 innings with no earned runs, one walk and he struck out half of the batters he faced (9-of-18). It was the next week that was rough. He pitched in three games that week. A perfect inning with three strikeouts was bookended by two games in which he allowed four earned and three earned. The month finished out with 3.2 shutout innings over two games. Those two poor outings sabotaged his ERA, posting a 5.40 mark in 11.2 innings. That came along with seven walks and 22 strikeouts.
The usage for Ryan Hendrix slowed down in the first half of May. He only made four appearances, but three of them were multi-inning games. In all of them the righty was dominant. In 8.0 total innings he allowed two hits, two walks and he struck out 17 of the 28 batters faced. Over the second half of May, Hendrix made five appearances and threw 6.2 innings. He would walk just one batter and strike out 11 while posting a 2.70 ERA. It was a dominant month for the reliever, posting a 1.23 ERA in 14.2 innings with just three walks and 28 strikeouts. His walk rate dropped significantly and his strikeout rate jumped up.
To say that June got out to a good start would be an understatement. From the beginning of the month through the 16th, Ryan Hendrix threw 8.0 perfect innings over six appearances with 11 strikeouts. That earned him a promotion from Dayton to Daytona. Once in the Tortugas bullpen things didn’t get out to a great start, though not entirely his fault. Hendrix was charged with three unearned runs in his first game. The next two were shutout appearances to round up the month. Between his two stops the right hander posted a 0.00 ERA in 11.1 innings. That came with just two walks, both in the final game and 14 total strikeouts.
The first half of July was an interesting mix for Ryan Hendrix. He threw 7.0 innings with a 1.29 ERA over six games. That’s the good. But, he also walked five batters in that span. It did come with nine strikeouts. It was the second half of July that saw problems arise in a few areas. Over five games he would walk a batter in four of the games, and allow five runs in 5.2 innings. After two months of strong walk rates, things went backwards in July as he walked nine batters in 12.2 innings. That came with a 4.26 ERA and 14 strikeouts.
The struggles in the second half of July continued into August. Over the first two weeks of the month, Ryan Hendrix posted a 7.72 ERA with six walks and just two strikeouts in 4.2 innings. The remaining two weeks of the season went much better. In the final six appearances of the month, Hendrix allowed just one run over 7.0 innings. That came with two walks and just eight strikeouts. In total, he posted a 3.86 ERA in August over 11.2 innings with eight walks and 10 strikeouts.
For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Ryan Hendrix Scouting Report
Fastball | His fastball will work in the 93-96 MPH range on most nights and has touched 100 in the past.
Curveball | The pitch is a plus offering, sitting in the mid-80’s. When at its best it’s good nice, late breaking 12-6 action.
Change up | A clear third pitch, it’s a fringy pitch that isn’t gone too often.
When he’s on top of his game, Ryan Hendrix looks like a future closer, throwing two plus pitches in the zone with his fastball and curveball. At other times, though, he will struggle with his ability to find the strikezone, and we saw that for a few stretches during the 2017 season. That did show up more in Daytona where he had 19 walks in 27.2 innings. That rate is going to have to improve as he moves forward. In 2018 if his control is more like it showed in Dayton than in Daytona, he could move up the ladder very quickly. But if things are more like the second half in Daytona in terms of control, it will be a slower climb up the ladder for Hendrix.