Henricus van den Hurk is a professional baseball player from the Netherlands who plays as a starting pitcher. Rick, as he is known, began his playing career at the age of 16 at PSV Eindhoven’s baseball team. He was coached by his father, who then decided to send him to the United States of America where he attended the Fort Lauderdale Preparatory School.
Graduating in 2003, Rick was picked by the Florida Marlins in the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft and was placed into the Gulf Coast League Marlins. Rick only managed to reach the low A-Division where he injured a ligament in his right arm. Rick underwent a ligament-replacement surgery that kept him out for most of 2005. He returned to the rookie league after his injury but after just 5 games, was sent up to the Jupiter Hammerheads in the High-A Division.
Van den Hurk had a great season in 2006, striking out 26 batters in his 15 innings in the rookie league, while giving away just 2 runs and 4 hits. In the High-A Division, he gave away 3 ERAs in 5 hits in 10 innings while striking out 15 batters.
By 2007, Rick was put into the AA-Division with the Carolina Mudcats and after Ricky Nolasco was ruled out of the MLB roster with an injury, Rick got his big shot in the Majors. His debut came on the 10th of April, a day after his call-up, against the Milwaukee Brewers. This made him the youngest player in the National League at the time. In 4 and two-third innings, Rick had given away just 1 ERA with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks before rain spoiled his debut.
However, his dream run at the top level lasted just 14 days and after giving away 6 ERAs off 4 hits with 4 walks against the Atlanta Braves, he was sent down to the Carolina Mudcats again.