Daniel Hudson and Upside

When the Arizona Diamondbacks received Daniel Hudson from the White Sox in exchange for Edwin Jackson, there were questions about Daniel Hudson major league future, namely about his potential. We knew what he could do in the minors, but needed an extended major league stint to truly value his long-term value.

From a less nerdy, and more scouty perspective, Hudson has a very low arm-angle when he pitches, especially for someone who stands 6’4”. While it’s not what I would recommend, it could be one of the reasons he fools hitters. His fastball sits at 92 mph, and he compliments it with a changeup that has some nice arm-side run. In fact, if he qualified, it would be the best change in baseball, thanks to a nice 26% whiff rate.

One of the biggest concerns surrounding Hudson was his extreme fly ball tendencies. While his tiny GB% will help his BABIP thanks to Arizona’s impressive outfield defense, it will lead to allowing more homers, a problem that while manageable, could be a big deal because of where he plays.

It really doesn’t matter what you look at, Hudson has been fantastic this year. He’s striking out almost a batter an inning, limiting the walks, and going deep into games. Sure, he’s had some luck on his side, but you can’t ask for much more from a pitchers who only 23. But we still haven’t answered the essential question: What’s his potential, and what’s his keeper value?

Like I said in Friday’s chat, I don’t think Hudson can be an Ace. However, he can be a good number two or three starter on a good team, and he’s a guy you will want pitching in the playoffs. While he’ll never have an ERA as low as it is now, he could easily win 12-15 games with an ERA under 3.50 as early as next season. Because he wasn’t drafted early this year, he has fantastic keeper value going into next year. He won’t be cheap in drafts, but if you already have him on your roster, keep him there as long as possible.




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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.


8 Responses to “Daniel Hudson and Upside”

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  1. The A Team says:

    I expected to see this once I saw you pick him up.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I’m not going to say it’s unrelated, but it wasn’t intentional. Got the idea for Hudson piece during Friday’s chat, wrote it up on Saturday. Just happened to be down in my queue. Waiver period just happened to match up.

      But, yes, I have been known to hold off on pieces until I pick someone up (see: Tony Gwynn Jr and Ball on a Budget).

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  2. Asher says:

    Got him as a $4 keeper.. silver lining to my otherwise dismal year

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  3. Rob says:

    How would his upside compare to Kyle Drabek?

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  4. Stus says:

    OLD DIRTY Representing! We should hereby refer to Old Dominion University as ACE U from here on out. Dexter Carter your up next!

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  5. epic23 says:

    Whose the better keeper, Hudson or Hellickson for 2011?

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