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Liam Hendriks

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Liam Johnson Hendriks

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[edit] Biographical Information

Liam Hendriks was a top Australian prospect entering 2008 and made his major league debut three years later.

Hendriks was signed by international scouting coordinator Howard Norsetter for the Minnesota Twins shortly after his 18th birthday and debuted in the minors with the 2007 GCL Twins. He went 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA, struck out 52 in 44 innings and walked 11. He made his Claxton Shield debut in 2008 and went 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA, finishing third in ERA and tying Tim Cox and Mark Kelly for the most wins. He struck out 25 to tie Kelly for the lead. He was added to the Australian national team for the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament and was arguably their top hurler, allowing one unearned run in five innings. He allowed two hits and a walk while fanning six. The rest of the staff was less successful (a 5.34 team ERA) and Australia failed to qualify for the Beijing Games.

Hendriks had back surgery that prevented him from pitching in the minors in 2008, but he made Australia's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The youngest Australian player in the Classic, he was 7th among their 13 pitchers in ERA despite having an ERA over 9; Australia played their games in high-scoring Foro Sol Stadium. Hendriks tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in a 17-7 win over host Mexico. In his second outing, he replaced Brendan Wise in the 4th inning against Mexico, trailing 5-0 and with two aboard. He gave up a single to Augie Ojeda and a RBI ground-out to Jerry Hairston Jr.. Edgar Gonzalez singled home a run. Paul Mildren relieved and let both inherited runners score.

Hendriks made his major league debut late in the 2011 season, going 0-2, 6.17 in 4 starts. In 2012, he shuffled a number of times between AAA Rochester and the Twins' starting rotation. However, his first major league victory proved to be elusive. In a particularly heart-breaking loss on August 27th, he matched the great Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitch for pitch for seven innings, only to give up a solo homer to Eric Thames in the 8th. It was the only run of the game, and the complete game loss gave him a record of 0-7, 6.02 in 10 starts.

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