- Full name Daniel Claiborne Hudson
- Born 03/09/1987 in Lynchburg, VA
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Old Dominion
- Debut 09/04/2009
Drafted in the 5th round (150th overall) by the Chicago White Sox in 2008 (signed for $180,000).
View Draft ReportOld Dominion also had a disappointing year, finishing 25-27 after being ranked No. 25 by BA in the preseason, due in part to the three quality pitching prospects on its staff. Lefthander Dan Hudson was coming off an impressive sophomore year and summer in the Cape Cod League but went 5-6, 4.70 in 13 starts this spring as the Monarchs' Friday starter. His stuff remains attractive, however. Hudson is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and throws his fastball in the low 90s. He has long been a strikeout pitcher and that didn't change this season, as he struck out 107 batters in 92 innings against 33 walks. He has a long arm stroke in the back and a whipping sidearm motion through his release point, which makes for natural life on his fastball, fading away from lefthanders and in on righthanders--though it can also make his command inconsistent. Hudson also throws a slider, curveball and changeup, with the curve being his best secondary pitch.
Organization Prospect Rankings
After an up-and-down career at Old Dominion, Hudson went in the fifth round of the 2008 draft and signed for $180,000. In his first full season, he picked up wins at five different levels, including the big leagues. He ranked second in the minors in opponent average (.200), sixth in strikeouts (166 in 147 innings), seventh in wins (14) and ninth in ERA (2.32). Hudson throws three solid pitches from a three-quarters arm slot with a crossfire delivery, a la Jered Weaver. His motion gives him natural deception, making his lively 91-93 mph fastball seem even quicker. His second-best pitch is his changeup, which elicits swings and misses. He also has a low-80s slider with average tilt, and he occasionally throws a slow curve. He pounds the strike zone and commands his fastball to both sides of the plate. Hudson's delivery can be high maintenance, sometimes requiring adjustments early in games. His pitches tend to flatten out when his arm drops below his preferred slot. Advanced hitters were able to elevate his pitches, which won't play well at U.S. Cellular Field. His defense and pickoff move are raw. Hudson could open the 2010 season in the big leagues, but with Freddy Garcia signing to fill out the rotation, there's no rush. The White Sox have developed starters with an apprenticeship in the big league bullpen, but Hudson would be better served by more regular work in Double-A.
Hudson didn't slump as badly as Dexter Carter did in 2008 at Old Dominion, but he did have the worst season of his three-year career with the Monarchs and dropped to the fifth round of the draft. Reunited with Carter in Great Falls after signing for $180,000, he led the Pioneer League with 90 strikeouts in 70 innings and fanned 12 over six innings in the championship-clinching playoff victory. Working from a three-quarters arm slot, Hudson throws an 88-92 mph fastball that explodes at the plate, riding in on righthanders and tailing away from lefthanders. He has an average slider and gets strikeouts by throwing it down in the zone. He's gaining confidence in his changeup. Hudson should be durable, as he has a strong frame and keeps his pitch counts down by throwing strikes and getting groundouts. If he performs well in spring training, he could skip a level and start 2009 in high Class A.
Minor League Top Prospects
When the White Sox needed rotation help at midseason, they gave Hudson three starts before trading him to the Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson. While Jackson was very solid in Chicago, Hudson was a revelation in Arizona, going 7-1, 1.69 in his first 11 starts. Hudson doesn't have overpowering stuff, but hitters just don't square his pitches up. He keeps opponents off balance by mixing a low-90s fastball with a quality changeup and a fringy to average slider. Adding to his effectiveness is a crossfire delivery that adds life to his fastball as well as deception, without detracting from his plus command.
A fifth-round pick a year ago, Hudson opened the year in low Class A and breezed through all four of the White Sox's full-season affiliates before making his major league debut in September. Hudson's fastball ranges from 90-93 mph, sitting at 91-92 and getting outs by riding in on righthanders and tailing away from lefties. His 81-83 mph changeup is his best secondary pitch, an above-average offering with fade and late sink. Hudson's slider flashes average tilt and depth when he stays on top of it, though he has a tendency to drop his three-quarters arm slot down lower, causing it to flatten out. He can elongate the slider to make it sweepier against righthanders, or shorten up the break to make it more like a cutter against lefties. Hudson's arm action has a long arm arc in the back, but his mechanics still provide deception because he's able to stay closed. He has a tendency to fly open with his delivery at times and needs to show more consistency with his command.
After pitching together at Old Dominion, Hudson and Carter roomed together in Great Falls and formed a dynamic 1-2 punch on the mound for the league-champion Voyagers. Hudson led the league in strikeouts with 90 in 70 innings, then fanned 12 over six innings in the championship clincher against Orem. Hudson throws strikes while operating from a low three-quarters angle with a long arm stroke in the back. His fastball has average velocity and exceptional life, riding in on righties and tailing away from lefties. He gets strikeouts by throwing his slider down in the zone and he also mixes in an occasional changeup.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Control in the International League in 2010
- Rated Best Control in the Chicago White Sox in 2010
- Rated Best Slider in the Chicago White Sox in 2010