As we continue our tour of the top prospects across the Chicago baseball landscape this afternoon, we take a look at Chicago Cubs #10 prospect, Bryan Hudson.
Bryan Hudson was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the 82nd overall pick, in the third round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft out of Alton HS in Alton, Illinois. Hudson grew up near Alton, Illinois, a rural community about 25 miles outside of St. Louis, Missouri, so while he hails from Illinois, it was the Cardinals that Hudson grew up rooting for.
At just 19 years-old Hudson has already made his way into the top ten prospects in the Cubs organization, just one year removed from his high school playing days, where he was something of a phenom in southwestern Illinois. The six-foot-eight southpaw led the Alton Redbirds to a 30-7 record in the spring of 2015, pitching to a 10-2 record with a miniscule 0.50 ERA over the course of 70.1 innings of work. In that span he struck out 150 hitters, while holding opposing hitters to a .138 batting average.
Hudson was selected by the Cubs in June of 2015, and signed with the Cubs in July of 2015 for $1.1 million dollars, a steep price to pay for a third-round pick usually, but Hudson was highly sought after. Hudson had already signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Missouri in 2016, before ending his amateur career when he signed with the Cubs.
In regards to his decision to bypass college baseball to begin his professional career in the Cubs farm system, Hudson had the following to say;
“Playing in the Major Leagues is something every kid dreams about,” Hudson said. “When it looked like I had a chance to do it, I knew I had to take the chance.”
“(Playing at Missouri) would have been great, I’m sure,” Hudson said. “But this chance to sign with the Cubs and hopefully make it to the Majors someday was something I had to try now.”
In his first taste of pro-ball in 2015 in the Arizona Fall League Hudson appeared in five games out of the bullpen, pitching in 6.2 innings. Hudson allowed two runs on six hits during his brief work in the fall of 2015, striking out five while walking two.
In 2016 Hudson played his first full season in the Cubs farm system, pitching for the Eugene Emeralds, the Cubs Low-A affiliate in the Northwestern League. 2016 was not as kind to Hudson as his brief stint in the Arizona Fall League, with Hudson posting a 5-4 record with a 5.06 ERA overt the course of 13 starts for the Emeralds.
Hudson tossed 58.2 innings pitched in 2016, and struggled mightily with his control, striking out 41 while issuing 41 walks as well. Hudson allowed nearly a hit and a walk per inning in 2016, often having to pitch out of jams.
The towering left-hander has a fastball that ranges from the high-eighties to the mid-nineties, with the potential to sit in the mid-nineties consistently with some added strength. Hudson also possesses a curveball that sits in the upper-seventies, and could develop into an above average breaking ball in the near future. Hudson has excellent command of his curveball, but leans on it too often, and needs to focus on adding velocity behind his fastball, and improving his changeup over the next couple of seasons.
Hudson shows excellent coordination and athleticism for his near-seven foot frame at this point and will likely solve his control issues naturally when he grows into his lanky frame in the coming season or two.
Hudson will likely spend all of the 2017 season as well as the majority, if not all of the 2018 season making his way through the Cubs minor-league ranks before possibly seeing the major-league roster at some point in 2019.