St. Louis Cardinals: Advocating for Dakota Hudson
By Trevor Hooth
Dakota Hudson is a very promising pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He recently looked great in Triple A championship loss to Durham.
There are rumors he may get traded this off-season. However, those whispers need to go by the wayside, and fast. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted a gem with the 34th overall pick in 2016. You can be sure other teams took note. Should a move happen, expect some serious compensation.
In all honesty, I am probably the biggest Dakota Hudson advocate there is. But, I think he is the real deal. The guy skyrocketed from Rookie level and Class A ball in 2016 to starting the Triple A championship in 2017. That says something.
Now, I am not ignorant to the fact that several of the players who got to Memphis to the championship game were September call-ups. However, Hudson starting the game was hardly the best of a bad situation. He dominated double-A all year, and recovered from a couple rocky starts after his promotion to pitch well.
During the championship loss, Hudson allowed only a single run on four hits. That is a solid outing in what is probably the biggest game of his young career.
To be fair, Hudson amassed a 4.42 ERA in seven starts as a member of the Memphis Redbirds. That is not the number of an MLB ready arm. Compare that to Luke Weaver’s 2.55 in fifteen starts and it is clear. So, there is still a bit of seasoning for the 23-year-old Hudson.
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Hudson flashes some serious upside, though. Does that mean the St. Louis Cardinals should trade high? There is certainly an argument for it.
My answer to that, however, is no. With the kind of performances he capable of, there is little harm in riding it out. If he fails, there is still Weaver, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty and more.
If he pans out, there is another solid arm to add to the list.
To get his game to the next level there is one, pretty simple, answer. He needs his walks to come down. His BB/9 is 3.49 in triple-A according to Fangraphs. It was lower than that in previous levels where he found success.
But, even with his walks, the number to look at is his batting average on balls in play. This shows the kind of solid contact hitters are making off of him. Hudson’s number in Memphis is .272. He is missing barrels and that is very promising.
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So yes, I admit that Hudson is not ready to try his hand on the St. Louis Cardinals. But, he is close. With just a little more time, the organization will be able to reveal their gem on the big stage. And by every indication I see, he will shine.