Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick: Kyle Hendricks
Kyle Hendricks is my favorite pitcher to watch, of all time. There might be bigger personalities, better stuff, more dominant throwers, but I've settled on always watching every pitch that Hendricks throws.
Growing up, I became a baseball fan in 1998. I missed out on the Maddux as a Cub years. When he was a stud for the Braves, I was too young to appreciate the mind games and control he had. I always heard great things about him, and knew he was one of the best but I never got a chance to really understand and appreciate his artistry. It was something that bothered me, because by the time he circled back to the Cubs, he was no longer at his peak. It was one of those things where I was left feeling a bit empty, like I had missed out on something that so many others got to enjoy.
Kyle Hendricks gave me a second chance to understand the mind games that pitchers can play. Between his deceptive delivery, ability to control the zone, and his skills at keeping hitters just off balance enough to never make solid contact, it's always a pleasure to watch. I appreciate how he's consistently a half step ahead of a hitter, and always in the game.
You are my favorite and I wuv you.
More seriously, you are my favorite pitcher to watch. Most fans like seeing stud pitchers with the best pitches in the game blowing away hitters. I prefer the mind games, and have grown to love your style of play over the years. There's a lot of little things that go into the recipe of your pitching game: the control, the deceptive delivery, the changing speeds, the ability to nip the strike zone, keeping hitters just off balance and uncomfortable, and so on. Seeing you do all these little things so well, has enabled me to understand pitching to a deeper degree. It's helped me learn that the best pitchers aren't just blowing 100 mph fastballs by hitters all day long. They have to hit their spots, change speeds and fool hitters.
My favorite thing about you is how you do so much with so little. So many people didn't give you a chance because your fastball doesn't hit 95 mph. Yet you developed into a solid pitcher who's consistently a top of the rotation kind of guy. There are parallels to the little engine that could.
I also really appreciate your attitude and gamesmanship. In a league where the biggest personalities get the most attention, there's something very refreshing about your quiet demeanor. You aren't there to twist the knife with fist pumps and shouts. You just come in, do your thing, rinse and repeat. The stability you offer to the team is underappreciated. People don't realize it now, but we will realize how good we had it once you retire.
Thank you for signing the extension with the Cubs. It's so great to know that while we've gotten to enjoy many good years with you already, that there are a few more to come. I've got my Kyle Hendricks fan club signs ready to go! Good luck on your first opening day assignment!