Arizona Diamondbacks’ New Man: Dan Hudson

By Tommy Rancel //

Before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a series of moves geared toward their future. One move in particular not only has potential for future reward, but is bringing back some results right now.

In terms of real-life analysis, the thought process behind the Edwin Jackson for Dan Hudson trade was to give up a year and a half of Jackson for six seasons of Hudson. Jackson is a talented pitcher, but he’s on his fifth major league team before the age of 27. He’s a nice piece at the back end of the rotation, but will make more than $8 million next season. Hudson may not have the raw ability that Jackson does, but he will earn around the league minimum for the next few seasons, likely for similar production.

After spending the 2008 season at the rookie level of the minor leagues, Hudson blew through all levels of the White Sox system in 2009 – earning a call-up to he majors after starting the year in low-A ball. He began 2010 at Triple-A, where he continued to post fantastic numbers – especially in the strikeout category. In 93.1 innings, he struck out 108 batters while walking just 31.

Hudson would make three unimpressive starts for the White Sox big club this season before the trade to Arizona. Again, while the move was made with the future in mind, Hudson has provided the Diamondbacks with favorable results in the present.

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After four turns through the Arizona rotation, the 23-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA. Hudson has struck out an impressive 27 batters in 29.1 innings with the D-Backs, while handing out just four walks.

One concern about Hudson, a flyball pitcher, moving to Arizona is home runs allowed. Chase Field is among the league’s friendliest home run parks. Since moving out west, Hudson has allowed four home runs (1.21 HR/9), and other Arizona pitchers in larger sample sizes have shows home run-heavy tendencies, so it is something that needs to be monitored long-term.

His current swinging strike percentage of 11% shows that his stuff thus far has been good enough to miss the bats of major league hitters. This is good news for his above-average strikeout rate, indicating that it’s more likely to be sustainable. Although he might be prone to the long ball, Hudson has kept the opposition off base in other ways, limiting the damage of the big fly.

Hudson is currently available on the waiver wire in most leagues. If you have the opening, the risk of claiming him is well worth the potential reward of adding an above-average starter as you head toward your fantasy playoffs – especially in deeper leagues.

For more on Daniel Hudson and other late season pick-ups, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Kits.

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