Last week, while we were all caught up in the huge moves the Dodgers were making for Adam Kolarek and Patrick Mazeika, L.A. snuck another minor-league contract in behind our backs. While Kolarek and Mazeika both have big-league experience so their names are more recognizable, Los Angeles signed a big left-handed pitcher you might not have heard of.
Cubs’ 2015 third round pick; lefty reliever who reached AAA last year with 11.4 K/9 and a 4.11 ERA in 46 IP https://t.co/8uVawc5Uzm
— Future Dodgers (@FutureDodgers) December 22, 2022
Bryan Hudson has spent seven seasons in the Cubs minor-league system since being drafted in the third round of the 2015 draft. He was taken immediately before Luke Williams, who spent 10 days in the Los Angeles system earlier this offseason, and two picks after Travis Blankenhorn, who had a similar 10-day stint with the Dodgers in 2021.
Hudson will likely last longer in the organization than Williams or Blankenhorn did since he’s on a minor-league deal. The 6-foot-8 lefty will turn 26 in May and has made it as high as Triple-A with Chicago. He was a highly touted prospect when the Cubs drafted him out of high school, paying him well above his bonus slot to keep him from going to the University of Missouri. After a fractured back sidelined him for most of 2018 and 2019 and then the pandemic shut down the minors in 2020, Hudson came back throwing in the mid-90s after sitting around 90 earlier in his minor-league career.
The 2022 season was a big step forward for Hudson, as he finally got his strikeout rate up where you’d expect it to be for a big, hard-throwing lefty. He struck out 29.7% of batters he faced in 2022, after averaging just 16.8% in his first six seasons in the minors.
In addition to the fastball, Hudson has an excellent curveball. Both pitches move down and make it hard for hitters to elevate the ball, so his groundball rate is outstanding. Like most minor-league deals, the smart money is on this not turning into anything. But with the Dodgers and pitchers, you just never know. Hudson has some pretty intriguing tools…
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