Results tagged ‘ Kyle Hudson ’
Who is he?
An outfielder and leadoff-type batter whose offensive contributions are walks and speed. He’ll be 29 in 2013 and has played 18 games at AAA, scattered over three seasons. In 428 AA games, he’s hit .264/.391/.323. He’s always had a contact-oriented swing and never learned to drive the ball. He seems to fall midway between Kyle Hudson and Matt Angle, and is on their career path, at best – a September callup as a pinch-runner/defensive replacement outfielder.
UPDATE: Richardson was declared a minor-league free agent and has signed with the Twins.
How does he project as a prospect?
Not only was Kyle Hudson the player most fun to watch for the 2011 Tides, he may have been the player most fun to watch (in a positive way) for the Tides in the six years I’ve been datacasting. He’s very fast and gives his all every play. However, I don’t think he’s a very good prospect, for several reasons:
- He has zero power. His entire offensive game is based on slapping at the ball and running like crazy; or, for a change of pace, bunting and running like crazy. Major-league pitchers will knock the bat out of his hands unless he gets stronger.
- Although he’s very fast, he’s not a good outfielder. He has trouble judging fly balls and doesn’t have a good throwing arm.
- Possibly because he’s a former college football player, he does play all-out on every play. That makes him entertaining to watch and someone to root for, but it also makes him susceptible to injuries.
I think the best-case scenario for Hudson is to be someone like Joey Gathright, another pure speed player. Gathright managed to last four seasons as a bench player / part-time regular. The key difference is that Gathright was a .300 hitter in the minors, while Hudson has been a .280 hitter in the minors. That may not seem like much of a difference, but when you consider that Gathright was a very marginal player anyway, it may be enough to keep Hudson in the minor leagues.
Would you rather have Hudson or Matt Angle?
Although they’re similar players, I’d rather have Angle, who’s a far better defensive outfielder and, at least in my opinion, has more strength. The Orioles won’t have either one; they waived Matt Angle. They wanted to remove Hudson from the 40-man roster, but because of an arcane roster-rule technicality Hudson was declared a free agent and signed with the Rangers.
I’m working three of the last five Tides games of the year, and the games will be a little less enjoyable because Kyle Hudson, the Tide most fun to watch, has been promoted to Baltimore. Hudson has played very well over the last few weeks and I’m happy that he’s going to get a taste of the major leagues.
It’s unlikely that Norfolk will be assigned an interesting player to replace him, because the AA Bowie Baysox and the Advanced A Frederick Keys are both in contention for playoff berths. If a team is in playoff contention, most major-league teams will not promote its players to a higher minor-league classification for the last few days of the season.
Sunday was Father’s Day, and since my stepdaughter is busy with summer school, I was able to “celebrate” Father’s Day by working the Buffalo-Norfolk game. Unfortunately, the game was miserable. The Tides lost, 16-2, in a game that was called after seven-and-a-half innings because of rain.
The game was every bit as miserable as the score indicated. Steve Johnson, the Tides’ starting pitcher just promoted from AA, was apparently intimidated by the Bisons hitters. He walked seven in 3 1/3 innings and helped put the Tides in an 11-0 hole. Then, in the top of the eighth inning, the Tides distinctive, 330-lb relief pitcher Jose Diaz walked three more Bisons while giving up the final five runs. There is nothing quite as tedious as batters drawing walks in a nine-run ball game.
Despite the lack of excitement in the game itself, two players provided an entertaining and interest contrast. Tides left fielder Kyle Hudson was entertaining to watch because of his hustle and all-or-nothing attitude; Bisons catcher Raul Chavez was entertaining to watch because of his “why bother” attitude.
Now I’m not really being critical when I describe Chavez’ attitude is “why bother.” First off, Chavez is a 38-year-old catcher, presumably continuing to play ball because there’s nothing more lucrative to do. Bill James once described Jim Sundberg as “not all that fast before he caught 1000 games”; I’m guessing that Chavez is the same. And Chavez has been around, and knows that there’s very little point in expending energy hustling to first on routine fly balls. We in the press box were wondering just how slow Chavez was, but he generally hit lazy fly balls each at bat, and he trudged toward first base after each one. It didn’t much matter, because all the fly balls were caught. As they are 99% of the time.
On the other hand, Kyle Hudson is the most entertaining player I’ve seen in several seasons. He’s not very GOOD, mind you, mostly because he’s been promoted too quickly (he really belongs in A-ball.) But he knows his limitations and makes every play as if it’s going to be his last. When he hits a routine ground ball, as he often does, he races toward first base as if Ray Lewis is chasing him. In the outfield, he tries to make every play he can, featuring all or nothing dives after line drives. He makes about 80% of those catches, but when he misses it usually ends up as a double or a triple. We know we’re going to see a great effort and sometimes an amazing play.
It’s a cliche that Kyle Hudson plays the game the way it should be played; he gives his all on every play. But there’s a case to be made for Raul Chavez; if you’ve only got so many ergs in your body, why waste them on long shots? It may not look good, but Raul Chavez is a 38-year-old AAA player. It works for him.