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Key Stats: At the age of 34, Tim Hudson had his best year since 2003 last season. It was somewhat strange, but as we have seen Tommy John Surgery can have all different kinds of results. Hudson had not pitched a full season since 2007, but his time away from the game probably helped him think about what type of pitcher he could be. Hudson never had a better ground ball percentage in a season than he did last year, and in fact no pitcher in baseball got more ground balls than Hudson. His 64.1% ground ball rate was more than 4% better than the next best pitcher in all of baseball.

Skeptics Say: Hudson has not had a K/9 rate of over 6 since 2003, and at 35 years of age that won’t be changing. He is good for three categories, but Tristan Cockcroft picking him off the starting pitcher board 14th is a bit much for three categories from a 35 year old.

Peer Comparison: In 2009, Joel Pinero had the best groundball rate. It was also about 4% lower than Hudson’s. You would have to go back to 2008 to find a pitcher who was as good as Hudson at getting hitters to wack the ball into the dirt. In that season, Brandon Webb had a ground ball rate of 64.2% and finished second in the Cy Young voting. Both guys are known for their sinkers, but it’s interesting to note that according to Fangraphs, Hudson throws 6 pitches at least five percent of the time and Webb only uses 3 pitches. Historically both pitchers have had the most success with their fastballs that have a natural sink on them.

Team Outlook: I really like Craig Kimbrell as a closer, but he is unproven and if you believe in the whole “closer mentality” concept, there’s a lot to worry about with Hudson after Billy Wagner saved seven of his seventeen wins a season ago. The Braves lineup should be improved next year. Jason Heyward will be one year older, Martin Prado will be healthy, and Dan Uggla gives them a thirty home run threat somewhere in the lineup. Chipper Jones gave them nothing, so if he gives nothing again in 2011, it won’t hurt them.

What They’re Saying: Yahoo: #41 Starting Pitcher & #180 Overall; CBS Sportsline: #28 Starting Pitcher; Tristan Cockcroft of #14 Starting Pitcher; Couch Managers: #89 Overall

Projection: The 2.83 ERA was nice and certainly a surprise. Given that he had more luck stranding runners than he had in any of his 12 seasons, it would again be a surprise for Hudson to slip under 3.00.
16 wins 3.37 ERA 1.19 WHIP 145 K in 214 innings

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2 Responses to Tim Hudson Player Projection No. 103

  1. Charlie Saponara says:

    Lot's of pitchers in the 100-plus range. I see where you're going with this…and I like it.

  2. Schruender says:

    Yeah there will be less pitchers in the sub-100. I've learned by lessons over time.

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