kyle hendricks cubs featureThis is a damn cool honor.

Although he says he didn’t have his best stuff last night, it matters not … because that was a September start. In August, Kyle Hendricks was fantastic. So fantastic that he earned NL Rookie of the Month honors.

The Cubs didn’t lose a game Hendricks started in August, and his 1.69 ERA for the month was resplendent. Although his xFIP for the month was a so-so 4.14 (the statistical theory there would be he “should” have given up more homers), his FIP was a very solid 3.05, thanks primarily to a paper-thin walk rate of just 4.1% in the month.

While you could argue there was luck there in Hendricks’ performance (.231 BABIP in August), I’m not so sure that’s the case. I think Hendricks is going to be an interesting case study in whether sequencing, execution, location, and planning can overcome a lack of raw stuff, and consistently induce weak contact. Consider this: in August, Hendricks’ line drive rate was a scant 14.8%, his groundball rate was a solid 47.8%, and his infield fly ball rate was an excellent 11.6%. Yes, he was allowing a lot of balls in play, but guys simply weren’t making solid contact off of him.

It’s a small sample, but here’s where I land: I don’t think what Hendricks is doing is “luck.” The only question is whether it is sustainable over a long period of time.

All in all, it makes Hendricks a fascinating guy to watch, and, frankly, a guy you want to see succeed – not just because he’s a Cub, but because there’s a part of you that wants to believe a guy like Hendricks can be an excellent big league starter. I really can’t wait to see what his future holds, and I’ve got very little issue with the Cubs going into 2015 expecting that he’ll hold one of the rotation spots.

[Among the other vote-getters for Rookie of the Month? … Jorge Soler. You know, the guy who played four games in August. (But they were damn good games.)]

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Need more baseball goodness? Check out BN Baseball - Videos, Plays, and Other Baseball Fun.