After being drafted in 2008, Daniel Hudson made his way through the minors quickly, reaching the majors a mere year later. His name skyrocketed to the top of the White Sox top prospects list.
With barely any of a trial period in the majors, Kenny Williams sent him off to Arizona for RHP Edwin Jackson last year. This left many Sox fans wondering if this was the right move at the time.
After the trade, Hudson dominated the NL to the tune of a 7-1 record with a 1.29 ERA. This type of season left the Sox feeling sure they were just robbed of a top-of-the-rotation anchor for several years. After a dissection of Hudson's statistics, it can be shown that the trade was to Chicago's benefit.
Hudson has established himself in the league because of his fastball. Although his fastball is certainly lively, the righty has shown he relies on this pitch by throwing it on average 65 percent of the time.
It is a very known fact that the main difference between the American and National Leagues are the pitches thrown. Many players have stated that in the American League, hitters will see more breaking pitches. Most White Sox pitchers prove this by only throwing their fastball around 50 percent of the time.
Earlier in the year, the Tampa Bay Rays were targeted about the fact that their pitchers all throw fastballs around 70 percent of the time. Most analysts have agreed this will hurt the young Rays staff this year in both WHIP and ERA.
With Hudson not having a very established breaking pitch, he relied heavily on that fastball. While he threw a slider at times, his only off-speed pitch was his changeup—which was nothing special. This style of pitching would not have cut it in the American League.
He recorded a ground-ball out only 35 percent of the time in 2010. His high flyball ratio, coupled with his reliance on the fastball, spelled certain doom for the young right-hander in the American League.
The deal clearly benefited both sides, as Jackson came over to Chicago and pitched solidly in the final stretch of the season. Only time will tell if this deal will not be one-sided, though. With the start of the 2011 season, South Siders will be hoping to see a full season of Jackson and where it leads them this year.
In the short run, fans can feel assured in the fact that no matter Hudson's future in Arizona, his repertoire did not spell success in Chicago.