Liam Hendriks

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Liam Hendriks
Liam Hendriks 2016.jpg
Hendriks with the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics – No. 16
Born: (1989-02-10) 10 February 1989 (age 30)
Perth, Western Australia
Bats: RightThrows: Right
MLB debut
6 September, 2011, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
(through June 12, 2019)
Win–loss record 15–22
Earned run average 4.47
Strikeouts 408

Liam Johnson Hendriks (born 10 February 1989), nicknamed "Slydah", [1] is an Australian professional baseball pitcher for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played for the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Professional baseball is played in leagues throughout the world. In these leagues and associated farm teams, baseball players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system.

Pitcher the player responsible for throwing ("pitching") the ball to the batters in a game of baseball or softball

In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.

Oakland Athletics Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Oakland, California, United States

The Oakland Athletics, often referred to as the A's, are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. They have won nine World Series championships, tied for the third-most of all current MLB teams. The 2017 season was the club's 50th while based in Oakland.



Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, Hendriks began playing tee-ball when he was five (rather than the traditional Australian summer game of cricket), before transitioning to baseball at the age of ten. He also played Australian rules football. [2] [3] Hendriks continued playing both baseball and football through high school at Sacred Heart College, Sorrento.

Perth City in Western Australia

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is named after the city of Perth, Scotland and is the fourth-most populous city in Australia, with a population of 2.06 million living in Greater Perth. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with the majority of the metropolitan area located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp. The first areas settled were on the Swan River at Guildford, with the city's central business district and port (Fremantle) both later founded downriver.

Western Australia State in Australia

Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.


Tee-ball is a team sport based on and simplifying baseball and softball. It is intended as an introduction for children aged 4 to 6 to develop ball-game skills and have fun.

Hendriks' paternal grandparents immigrated to Australia from the Netherlands. His father, Geoff Hendriks, played over 150 games of senior football for the West Perth Football Club in the West Australian Football League (WAFL). Under the father–son rule used by the Australian Football League (AFL) at the time, Liam was eligible to be drafted by the West Coast Eagles had he decided to pursue a career in football. However, he decided to pursue baseball and was signed by the Minnesota Twins on his eighteenth birthday.

Geoffrey Francis "Geoff" Hendriks is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the West Perth Football Club in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) between 1975 and 1985. He is the youngest premiership player in the competition's history, having won a premiership with the Falcons at the age of 16 in his debut season.

West Perth Football Club Australian rules football club based in Joondalup, Western Australia

The West Perth Football Club, nicknamed the Falcons, is an Australian rules football club located in Joondalup, Western Australia. West Perth competes in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and is the oldest existing Australian rules football club in Western Australia. Originally located at Leederville Oval, the team was relocated in 1994 to Arena Joondalup, a sports complex in the northern suburbs of Perth. The team's club song is "It's a Grand Old Flag" and its traditional rivals are East Perth.

West Australian Football League

The West Australian Football League (WAFL) is an Australian rules football league based in Perth, Western Australia. The WAFL is the third-most popular league in the nation, behind the nationwide Australian Football League (AFL) and South Australian National Football League (SANFL). The league currently consists of nine teams, which play each other in a 24-round season usually lasting from March to September, with the top five teams playing off in a finals series, culminating in a Grand Final. The league also runs reserves and colts (under-19) competitions.

In 2017, Hendriks was the Oakland Athletics' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award after his work with Big League Impact and Striking Out Poverty in their efforts to end poverty in the Dominican Republic. [4]

Roberto Clemente Award baseball award given annually for sportsmanship and community involvement

The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team", as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media. It is named for Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente. Originally known as the Commissioner's Award, it has been presented by the MLB since 1971. In 1973, the award was renamed after Clemente following his death in a plane crash while delivering supplies to victims of the Nicaragua earthquake.

Dominican Republic country in the Caribbean

The Dominican Republic is a country located in the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area at 48,671 square kilometers (18,792 sq mi), and third by population with approximately 10 million people, of which approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.

Professional career

Minnesota Twins

Hendriks with the Twins in 2012. Liam Hendriks on June 21, 2012.jpg
Hendriks with the Twins in 2012.

Hendriks debuted for the Twins in 2007 pitching for the Gulf Coast League Twins. He led the team in strikeouts with 52. He was also named as a Twins Top 50 prospect. [5] He pitched for the Perth Heat in the 2008 Claxton Shield and went 3–0 with a 1.90 ERA and 25 K's, a competition high. Liam was then added to the Australian national team for the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament pitching five innings of work while only allowing one unearned run alongside two hits and a walk while striking out six. Hendriks underwent back surgery that prevented him from playing in the minors in the 2008 season, but made the 2009 World Baseball Classic roster, the youngest Australian player in the Classic. [6]

Gulf Coast League Twins Minor League Baseball team

The Gulf Coast League Twins are the Rookie Level Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The team plays in Fort Myers, Florida, at the Lee County Sports Complex.The team is composed mainly of players who are in their first year of professional baseball either as draftees or non-drafted free agents from the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and other countries.

Perth Heat Australian baseball team founded in 2005

The Perth Heat is a baseball team in the current Australian Baseball League and a foundation member of the Australian Baseball League. It is now the most successful team in ABL, winning 15 Claxton shields.

2008 Claxton Shield

The 74th Claxton Shield was held from 28 December 2007 to 10 February 2008. The 2008 Shield was conducted on a Home and Away series made up of 2 Divisions; Eastern Division: Australian Provincial, New South Wales Patriots and the Queensland Rams, Southern Division: Perth Heat, Victoria Aces and South Australia. Each divisional series saw each team meet 6 times with 3 home games and 3 away games, the top team from each division then meet in a 3-game Championship series.

In 2009 Hendriks spent the season with the Class-A Beloit Snappers of the Midwest League and the Rookie-Level Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League. He went a combined 5–5 with a 3.55 ERA in 14 games, all starts. In 2010, Hendriks was selected for the 2010 All-Star Futures Game, but developed appendicitis and was forced to miss the game. [7] Hendriks earned a Futures Game invitation in 2010. [8] On 5 September 2011, Hendriks was called up to the Minnesota Twins from Triple-A Rochester. He went on to finish the season with an 0–2 record. At the end of the 2011 season he was named the Minnesota Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year. [9] He was an All-Star for the New Britain Rock Cats in 2011, and named an organizational All-Star for Minnesota at the end of the season. He also earned his second invitation to the Futures Game. [8]

The Beloit Snappers are a Minor League Baseball team of the Midwest League and the Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, They are located in Beloit, Wisconsin, and play their home games at Harry C. Pohlman Field, which was built in 1982.

Midwest League baseball league operating at the Class A level of Minor League Baseball in the Midwestern US

The Midwest League is a Minor League Baseball league, established in 1947 and based in the Midwestern United States. It is a Class A league that plays a full season; its players are typically players in their second or third year of professional play.

The Elizabethton Twins are a minor league baseball team of the Appalachian League and a rookie-level farm club of the Minnesota Twins. They are located in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and are named for their major league affiliate. The team plays its home games at Joe O'Brien Field which opened in 1974 and seats 2,000 fans. The Twins have won the Appalachian League Championship on 12 occasions.

After a successful spring training (3–1, 2.84 ERA, 8 games/4 starts), Hendriks was named as one of the Twins' starting pitchers for 2012. [10] On 19 September 2012, Hendriks earned his first Major League victory in a 6–4 win against the Cleveland Indians. On 5 December 2013, the Twins designated Hendriks for assignment, after the signing of pitcher Phil Hughes. [11]

Toronto Blue Jays

On 13 December 2013, Hendriks was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs. [12] Ten days later, he was claimed off waivers again, this time by the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles designated him for assignment on 19 February 2014 to make room for Ubaldo Jiménez on the active roster. [13] The Toronto Blue Jays claimed Hendriks off waivers on 21 February 2014. [14] On 10 March 2014, he was optioned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Hendriks compiled a 5–0 record with an ERA of 1.46 through nine games (seven starts) with the Bisons, before being called up to the Majors on 23 May 2014. [15] He made his Blue Jays debut that day, picking up a 3–2 win over the Oakland Athletics. Hendriks started the game and allowed 3 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks and struck out 3 over 523 innings. [16] After 2 starts for the Blue Jays, Hendriks was optioned back to Triple-A Buffalo on 1 June 2014. He posted a 1–0 record with a 2.31 ERA and 8 strikeouts in his 2 starts. [17] Hendriks was called up on 20 June to start against the Cincinnati Reds, and was sent back down to Buffalo the following day after he pitched only 123 innings and surrendered 6 earned runs. [18] Hendriks was named as the starter for the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game after posting a 7–1 record with a 2.19 ERA in 16 starts. [8] In being named the starter, he became only the fourth pitcher from the Bisons to start the All-Star Game. [19] Hendriks was named the Top Star of the game. [8]

Kansas City Royals

On 28 July 2014, Hendriks, along with Erik Kratz, was traded to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Danny Valencia. [20] He was recalled from the Omaha Storm Chasers on 27 August to make a start for the Royals against his former team, the Twins. [21] He was designated for assignment on 24 October when Moises Sierra was claimed on waivers. [22]

Return to Toronto

On 30 October 2014, Hendriks was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Santiago Nessy. [23] Hendriks pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 2015, and appeared in a career-high 58 games. He would pitch to a 5–0 record, 2.92 ERA, and 71 strikeouts in 6423 innings. [24] In the playoffs, Hendriks broke an 85-year-old record in Game Four of the 2015 American League Championship Series on 21 October 2015. After starter R.A. Dickey gave up five runs, Hendriks entered in as the long reliever and pitched 4.1 scoreless innings from the second to the sixth and finished with 13 outs from 12 batters faced, breaking the playoff record for more-outs-than-batters-faced performances. Jim Lindsey previously held the mark with eight outs from seven batters faced in 1930, while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. [25] Hendriks was pulled in the seventh inning in what was a criticized move and relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Ryan Tepera surrendered seven runs, and with the bullpen depleted at that point, position player Cliff Pennington pitched the final outs as the Blue Jays lost 14-2. For his record-breaking performance in the ALCS, Hendriks was named the Male Player of the Year by Baseball Australia, [26] and a finalist for the Western Australian Sports Star of the Year. [27]

Oakland Athletics

On 20 November 2015, the Blue Jays traded Hendriks to the Oakland Athletics for Jesse Chavez. [28] Hendriks finished the 2016 season with a 3.76 ERA and 0–4 record, pitching 64 23 innings in 53 appearances. [29] In 2017, he pitched 64 innings in 70 appearances with a 4–2 record and 4.22 ERA. [29]

Hendriks was designated for assignment on 25 June 2018, and sent outright to Triple-A Nashville. [29] He was called up to the major league club on 1 September 2018. [30] During the regular season, Hendriks appeared in 25 games with Oakland, pitching 24 innings with a 0–1 record and 4.13 ERA. [29] The Athletics used Hendriks as their opener in the 2018 American League Wild Card Game, [31] becoming the first Australian born player to ever start an MLB postseason game.

International career

Claxton Shield

Hendriks pitched for the Perth Heat in the 2008 Claxton Shield and went 3–0 with a 1.90 ERA and 25 strikeouts, a competition high. He was named the Rookie of the Year for that season. [32]

Australian Baseball League

Liam returned for the Heat in the inaugural season of the Australian Baseball League. After starting the season posting seven scoreless innings over three outings, Hendriks endured a rough second half, ending up 1-4 with a 6.49 ERA in eight total games. He is yet to return to his native league through the 2018-19 season.

World Baseball Classic

Hendriks underwent back surgery that prevented him from playing in the minors in the 2008 season, but made the 2009 World Baseball Classic roster, the youngest Australian player in the Classic. [6]

On February 9, 2017, he was selected 2017 World Baseball Classic, [33] but opted not to participate in the first round, where Australia were eventually knocked out. [34]

See also

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