Free Agent Focus: Orlando Hudson

Mets ParadiseCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 21:  Orlando Hudson #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his home run in the fifth inning with teammate Rafael Furcal #15 against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Based on the results of the 2009 season, many Mets fans have made arguments that Luis Castillo was the MVP of the team. This is a good indicator of just how unfortunate the New York Mets were throughout the season.

Castillo is strictly a role player at this point in his career, an aging, declining slap-hitter whose main success is getting on base, which he does do very well, but otherwise does not play much of a part on this team. This is not an “exciting” player we are talking about, by any means. Resentment is building in the Met fanbase for Castillo, and eyes are turning to a man who seems to be a given to be signed by the Mets if they were able to deal their incumbent 2nd basemen. Say hello to Orlando Hudson.

Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1997 draft, Hudson has earned a reputation as being a “gamer” who plays with some flash on the baseball field. At 32 years old, Hudson is 2 years younger than the decidedly aging Castillo, but he does have a history of injuries, as he has had surgeries on his wrist and thumb that have sidelined him for significant periods of time.

In terms of numbers, Hudson has a much more well-rounded game than Castillo, given his much more impressive reputation in the field (-3.3 UZR last year compared to Castillo’s -10.4), and a more varied offensive skill-set. Hudson and Castillo both had impressive OBP values last year (.357 and .387, respectively), a decline for Hudson and an increase for Castillo compared to their 2008 years. In my opinion, Castillo stands much less of a chance to improve his past numbers given his declining speed and health. When it comes to power, Hudson has considerably more pop in his bat, hitting 50 extra base hits compared to Castillo’s 16. Hudson’s upside outweighs Castillo’s in both aspects of the game.

Off the field, Hudson has also founded the C.A.T.C.H Foundation, an organization devoted to providing support for youths with autism, and has a reputation for being a great clubhouse presence.

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