ARIZONA–If you were asked to guess the pitchers with the lowest WHIP during the 2010 season, there would be a few players that would top every person's list.
You wouldn’t expect this list to throw you any curveballs (no pun intended), and the elite starting pitchers that we have come to know and love would be named at the top—or so you would think.
The following is a list of the top five pitchers with the lowest WHIP in baseball:
5. Adam Wainwright- 1.05 WHIP
4. Roy Halladay- 1.04 WHIP
3. Roy Oswalt- 1.03 WHIP
2. Cliff Lee- 1.00 WHIP
1. But who is number one?
Is it Felix Hernandez, the AL Cy Young Award winner?
Is it Mat Latos, a rising star for the San Diego Padres?
Is it Tim Lincecum, the winner of two of the past three Cy Young Awards?
Contrary to popular belief, the answer is none of the above. That privilege goes to…drum roll please…Daniel Hudson.
Daniel Hudson was drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago White Sox in the 2008 draft and was a centerpiece in the Edwin Jackson trade between the Diamondbacks and White Sox. Hudson wasn’t considered an elite prospect in the White Sox organization until 2009, when he posted a cumulative 2.32 ERA along with a 10.1 K/9 ratio through three minor league stops.
Hudson primarily uses four pitches: a fastball, slider, curveball and changeup.
His fastball rides anywhere from the low-to-mid 90’s, with late movement that keeps opposing batters off-balanced. His slider is already a plus pitch and has become his primary strikeout weapon. He has a belt buckling curveball, but it is primarily used to steal strikes early in the count and his changeup is currently a work-in-progress.
With that said, Daniel Hudson definitely possesses the talent to be a force in the major leagues for years to come.
Hudson had a few spot starts as a member of the Chicago White Sox in 2009 and 2010, but became a full-time starter when he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
I guess Hudson knew how to take advantage of an opportunity.
As a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Hudson put up a stat-line that would place him with the elite.
Stats: 7 W, 1 L, 1.69 ERA, .841 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 1.8 BB/9
These numbers are enough to make any fantasy player drool. His 1.69 ERA and .841 WHIP would place him first overall by a substantial margin and would place him in the conversation with the league’s best.
Granted, this is a small sample size and it would be unrealistic to say he can continue this pace over an entire season. However, these numbers should catch any drafter’s eye during drafting day in 2011.
Daniel Hudson is currently drafted around the 11th or 12th rounds. Taking a flier on Daniel Hudson could pay huge dividends if he can even come close to the numbers he put up as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010.