DANIEL HUDSON, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: March 9, 1987
Drafted: 5th Round, 150th overall pick, 2008 (White Sox)
How Acquired: Free Agent
College: Old Dominion University
Agent: Jet Sports Management
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|Hudson broke out as an excellent starter at the big league level after a deadline trade from the White Sox to the Diamondbacks in 2011. He didn’t last long, though, requiring Tommy John surgery twice, a year apart, in 2012 and 2013. He returned as a reliever for two seasons with Arizona. Hudson has generally had good strikeout rates despite not being overpowering as a starter. He threw a 93-mph fastball, as well as an above-average slider and change. As a reliever, his velocity has increased to 96 mph on average. He’s not a groundball or flyball pitcher. At the major league level, he’s had almost no platoon split. The Pirates signed Hudson as a free agent for 2017 and 2018.
Hudson had a solid debut, making 14 starts in advanced rookie ball with a very high K rate.
The White Sox promoted Hudson through four levels of their farm system and he dominated most of the time. They called him up in September and he pitched reasonably well in six games, two starts, in the majors.
The Sox sent Hudson back to AAA to open the season. He pitched very well, with his numbers inflated by one terrible start in which he allowed nine earned runs in one inning. The Sox brought him up in July for three starts, which didn’t go well due to uncharacteristic control problems. At the end of the month, they traded him to Arizona for Edwin Jackson. Hudson was outstanding from the time he got to the Diamondbacks, holding opponents to a 183/237/294 line.
Hudson had a strong season in the Arizona rotation, covering 33 starts and including three complete games. In retrospect, though, his workload may have been too heavy. He also had a good year at the plate, posting a 277/309/369 batting line, with 14 RBIs.
Hudson struggled through three starts, then went on the disabled list with shoulder trouble, returning after a month. He went out again after six more starts and eventually had Tommy John surgery.
Hudson returned in June, made one minor league rehab appearance, then went out again and had another Tommy John surgery. Arizona non-tendered him after the season and signed him to a minor league contract.
Arizona purchased Hudson’s contract at the end of spring training and put him on the 60-day disabled list. He went to the minors on rehab in August, then made three relief appearances for the D’backs in September.
Except for one start, Hudson spent the season in the Arizona bullpen. He had two bad months, allowing an OPS of .828 in April and .878 in August, but otherwise pitched very well. For the year he struck out over a batter an inning.
Hudson returned to the bullpen and pitched very well except for one, fairly lengthy stretch. On June 21, he had an ERA of 1.55, but over his next 15 outings he had an ERA of 24.21, in part due to a remarkable .625 BABIP. Over his final 25 outings, his ERA was 1.66. For the season, his xFIP was considerably better than his ERA, although still not great at 4.12. His velocity was unchanged from the prior year, either for the season as a whole or during his bad stretch.
The Pirates opened the season with Hudson in the 8th inning role, but the arrangement was a disaster. Hitters teed off against him for a .955 OPS in April and he had an ERA during the month of 9.90. The team stopped using him in the setup role in May and, in fact, frequently used him in mopup situations. Ultimately, though, most of the rest of the bullpen was so bad that Hudson had to pitch in close games sporadically throughout the season. He pitched reasonably well from May through August, with an opponents’ OPS between .668 and .714 in each month. Overall, he struck out a lot of hitters but also had control problems.
The Pirates owe Hudson $5.5M for 2018. Although he pitched decently for much of 2017, at no point did he exhibit the sort of dominance that teams want from late-inning relievers. The Pirates are likely to continue trying him in various roles rather than eating his salary.
2017: $5,500,000 (possible $1,500,000 in incentives based on games finished)
2018: $5,500,000 (possible $1,500,000 in incentives based on games finished)
|Signing Bonus: $180,000
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: 9/4/2009
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 9/3/09
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2010)
MLB Service Time: 7.117
|June 5, 2008: Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 5th round, 150th overall pick; signed on June 15.
September 3, 2009: Contract purchased by the Chicago White Sox.
July 30, 2010: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with David Holmberg to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson.
December 2, 2013: Non-tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
December 13, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
March 30, 2014: Called up by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
November 3, 2016: Became a free agent.
December 19, 2016: Signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.